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Christopher Parker
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What the fan's of self-driving-technology are imagining is a taxi, but automated. That sounds less sexy, doesn't it. But that's what a self-driving car that then goes along to the next person is. Already taxi's have all the advantages of not needing a car for every person or parking and so on. Nothing about self-driving is different. In America, taxi's are a small part of the market (Manhattan excepted). Why would self-driving cars be any different? Cost? Will automation be cheaper - enough to woo people to depend on self-driving taxi's instead of their personal auto? Maybe. Maybe not. Technology isn't cheap. Besides, taxi's are already cheaper than the cost of owning a car for many people and American's prefer to have their own. The labor cost of driving is zero. (Not really - but that's how people think of it, and perception determines decisions). I only see this working where labor costs are a factor (which means fleets, trucks, yes para-transit, etc) and for those who really want a chauffeur.
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Aug 18, 2012