Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Driverless Taxis

The obsession with driverless cars primarily focused on them being driverless taxis is another hint that the people trying to make these things have no idea what they're doing, or at least why they are doing it. Creating a driverless car that rich guys like me (joke) can buy and program to take us to work and back (another joke, that's my couch!) and maybe program them to take them to a few other set destinations in nice sunny locations like Phoenix seems reasonably possible if not all that useful (hey, I'm a rich guy, so who cares). Creating a driverless taxi requires creating something which can go anywhere and figure out how to stop and pick up people and do so in places where there are potentially lots of other cars and taxis trying to do the same. Airports, crowds coming out of concerts and other events, that kind of thing. Places where dozens of cars and hundreds of people are milling about in a chaotic fashion. Where the hell do you think people need taxis? In numerous ways, the driverless taxi is the most complicated (and not clearly most lucrative) application for driverless cars. I mean, I get that it's the science fiction dream. Snap your fingers and your robot chauffeur shows up and takes you anywhere you want to go. Cool, tech bro, super cool. Hopefully I can summon it by talking to my Google Glass. But making a (somewhat) useful driverless car is sooooo much easier than making a useful driverless taxi.