While the future will be filled with driverless cars and taxis, American laws require a human to be present in a car. Dangers on the road are still possible; in July, Tesla Motors acknowledged that one of its vehicles operating in autopilot mode crashed and killed the driver because both he and the semi-autonomous system failed to detect a tractor turning in front of the car.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick claims that taking Uber autonomous cars will be cheaper than driving with a human pilot. He said at a conference in California last year: “The reason Uber could be expensive is because you’re not just paying for the car—you’re paying for the other dude in the car. When there’s no other dude in the car, the cost of taking an Uber anywhere becomes cheaper than owning a vehicle.”
Uber is not singular in their goal to put autonomous cars on the road. Among others are GM, Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Volvo, Nissan. American company nuTonomy and British Delphi Automotive are working on experimental program for autonomous taxi service in Singapore. By 2022 they expect the program to be completely operational.
In Japan, Robot Taxi Inc takes volunteers to shops near their home. Snuber, a Korean company, transports students from Seoul University. Chinese Internet-giant Baidu is also working on autonomous vehicles.
Existing projects can be found at London’s Heathrow airport and with CityMobil2 buses driving in the streets of Greek Trikal.
In Russia by 2023 autonomous lorries will be manufactured for use and the first driverless bus is already undergoing testing in Skolkovo.
As Dmitry Peskov, director of the Young Professionals Department, Agency for Strategic Initiatives, said in interview to RT, companies “Volgabus” and “Aurora” are engineering a driverless bus for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
While there are no plans yet for producing autonomous taxis in Russia, Russian engineers are hard at work to design a new system for use in Russia.
Still, many questions regarding laws, safety, roads, economics and social factors need to be answered before implementing these futuristic vehicles.