Technology is on the verge of bringing us gadgets and innovations that we only expect to see in the movies. The transportation industry is one of the major industries to experience changes in infrastructure, policies, technology and mediums as well. With the strong influence of environmental concerns, Artificial Intelligence and Automation, companies are planning to limit or even eliminate as much human input into transportation with the introduction of self-driving cars and driverless taxis.
Taxis are the major source of transport in many major cities in the world. Driverless Taxis are the latest innovations in public transport to top off other new technologies like running on electricity, biometric security, navigation and safety features. Let’s take a look of what’s happening around the world in regard to Driverless Taxis taking to the streets;
1. Tokyo, Japan
In Japan, a self-driving taxi was introduced in August, 2018. It successfully took paying passengers through the streets of Tokyo for the first time to initiate its launch and services. It also raised the prospect that it would be ready in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics to transport tourists and athletes across the beautiful city. It is expected to be one of the main tourist attraction portraying Tokyo as one of the most technologically advanced cities in the world. ZMP (Autonomous driving technology) and Hinomaru Kotsu (Taxi company in Japan) began road tests which are the first of their kind in the whole world. Furthermore, Toyota and Uber are also developing a self-driving vehicle to compete with them in Japan, Europe and the US.
2. London, England
According to Addison Lee, Self-driving taxis will hit the streets of London by 2021. The company has formed an alliance with Oxbotica, a company which is known for self-driving software. First off, they plan to create digital maps of more than a quarter million miles of public roads in the capital with precision applied to details like position of every kerb, road sign and traffic lights. According to the CEO, Andy Boland, the introduction of self-driving services will change beyond recognition and they plan to be at the very front of this change. The autonomous vehicle technology is expected to be worth 28 billion pounds in the UK by 2035 as the technology will eliminate many of the challenges we face in transportation.
3. Arizona, USA
Waymo, the self-driving vehicle unit of Google parent Alphabet currently houses hundreds of Chrysler Pacifica minivans which are fitted with highly advanced software and hardware. This enables passengers to safely ride them on public roads with the presence of a human driver behind the wheel. The company has been offering rides via their ride-hailing app to summon the minivans for free trips to public places within the suburban Phoenix service area. They plan to make the service available to the public through expanding and they will start charging money for it once it is fully automated.
4. Dubai, UAE
Dubai’s transport authority introduced two game changing initiatives at Gitex 2018. The first was self-driving Taxis and followed by the introduction of Nol Plus services. UAE has developed plans to use smart transportation systems for over 25 percent of personal trips by 2030. They have partnered with Dubai Silicon Oasis and DG World to equip them with top safety and security features. The director of RTA, Khalid Al Awadhi said that Taxi is one of the modes of transport that will contribute to the vision and goal of Dubai. Initially, the Taxi is in test phase at Dubai Silicon Oasis with the idea to prove that the technology will suit the environment of Dubai with regards to infrastructure, legislations and the whole traffic system.
Singapore is playing a completely different game on another level. They are currently planning to test out their driverless hover-taxi which are due next year. This innovation is a step to reduce the tremendous amount of traffic jams in Asia. The Taxi resembles a helicopter which would be powered electrically. They are based on drone technology which can fly two people for about 30 kilometers. The tests are in place to see how it performs in inner city conditions with Sky Scrapers and other turbulent conditions.