Just like touchscreens and wearable technology, self-driving taxi could be another realm of science fiction that becomes a part of regular life. Google, who has been experimenting with self-driving hardware installed in existing cars, is reportedly looking into manufacturing its own model.
Former Wall Street Journal journalist Amir Efrati reports that Google’s talks with current big car brands failed to bring about a partnership deal, so now the company is seeking to create an autonomous automobile, designed to its own specifications. This news also follows the headlines that Google has invested in taxi-hailing app, Uber. There are speculations that Google could be looking to create a fleet of ‘robo-taxis’. Writes Efrati:
[Google's] vehicles could become part of robo-taxi systems in which a fleet of self-driving cars would pick up passengers and work commuters on demand, according to people familiar with the matter. Google believes that such systems could potentially reduce the need for people to own cars and reduce accidents.
The cost of bringing self-driving cars to the market would be expensive, with Google’s retrofitted Toyotas costing around $150,000. Google refused to comment on the story.