Google cars to provide self-drive taxi service?

12.00 | 27 August 2013 | | 4 comments

Google is considering utilising its ‘self-driving’ cars as a ‘robo-taxi’ service, according to the Independent.

The self-driving taxi service would pick-up and drop-off passengers without human intervention and would be paired with a mobile app.

Currently Google utilises a Toyota Prius which is then retrofitted with an array of sensors, cameras and computers. The Independent report says that while Google’s self-driving car has been a technological success, the search engine giant is having difficulty in getting the vehicle into mainstream use.

As well as finding a business model that works Google also faces an uphill battle with regulation and local laws. The cars have been cleared to drive in four states in the US, and UK legislators have also given permission for tests of autonomous vehicles.

Google cars have so far only been involved in two accidents; one involved the car being ‘rear-ended’ after stopping at a red light, and the other occurred after a human driver took control of the vehicle.

Click here to read the full Independent report.


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    Google and others are employing some extremely clever people to work on this and other automated driving projects. Do you have factual proof to back your use of words like ‘stupidity’, ‘dangerous’ and ‘unpredictable’, or any professional or academic background in this area – or is this simply your personal opinion?

    Nick Rawlings, editor, Road Safety News
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    I think this form of stupidity should never be allowed on UK roads – full stop. They are dangerous as they interfere with some else’s driving and they are also unpredictable, both of which can cause accidents.

    Phil, Kent
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    The only bit of good news here is that they are having difficulty gettng these vehicles into mainstream use! Goodness knows what the insurers will make of it, when trying to apportion blame and liability!

    I have seen comparisons of the probability of accidents due to humans or electronics being in charge, and there is no way I would get into one of these – even if the only alternative were a motorcycle, helicopter or submarine! And I spent the whole of my career from 1965 involved in the remote control of moving objects.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    I guess Google’s equivalent to James William Lambert 1891.

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