Several companies are trying to come up with AI-powered-and-operated vehicles to reduce congestion on the roads. It wasn’t until recently that the California regulators allowed the first robotic taxi service to begin its operations as a driverless taxi rider in San Francisco. A company known as Cruise was approved by the California Public Utilities Commission to start its driverless ride service. The company is controlled by automaker General Motors.
Cruise was issued the permit despite several safety concerns due to the company’s inability to pick and drop off passengers at the curb in the automatic taxi.
The Driverless Ride
Cruise has currently released 30 electric vehicles to their ride-hailing service. These vehicles are confined to offering services in the less-crowded parts of San Francisco from 10 PM to 6 AM. The service will discontinue in rain or fog as per the limitations set by the company. These restrictions will minimize the chances of taxis causing property damage, injuries, and/or other losses. In this way, regulators can assess the performance of the taxis before allowing the service providers to expand.
Cruise And Waymo: The Driverless Ride Service Providers
Cruise and Waymo are the robotic car pioneers that have already begun their operations through autonomous driverless taxis in parts of San Francisco. However, there’s always a backup driver present to take control in case there’s some problem with the technology. The good news is that Cruise has been cleared to conduct their rides with no one else except passengers in the taxi. Driverless vehicles are seen as a step towards reducing traffic accidents, which are mostly caused by careless human drivers.
Navigating through crowded cities such as San Francisco has been a challenge that robotic taxi providers are looking to overcome. Cruise is keeping tight control over its newly approved driverless service to avoid any bad publicity.
Cruise is getting motivation from its supporters that are using the driverless taxi service. The supporters also hope the company will be allowed to expand its operations to other cities. Regardless of the low-fare benefit, people still question the idea of driverless taxi service.
Nevertheless, reaching this point has taken longer than the companies thought it would when they started working on this technology. Uber, one of the leading ride-hailing services, is hoping to have 75,000 self-driving rides operating on the road by 2019. It also hopes to start its driverless taxi fleet in 13 cities by 2022. A case was filed by Waymo against Uber due to which Uber suffered and had to sell its autonomous driving sector to Aurora in 2020. Uber still relies on human drivers to run its service and has been facing difficulty employing them due to the pandemic.