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Robo-Cab Predictions

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EEVblog:
Just posted this on twitter, reposting here.
My predictions for Robo-Cabs / Robo-Taxi

PREDICTION #1:
Robocabs that can match a human driver in practicality are *many* years away. Perhaps even a decade or more.
Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
And they could still suck in many situations.

PREDICTION #2:
People taking Robo-cabs won't like or trust traditional looking cars with an empty front seat and steering wheel whizzing around.
Expect something different to win out.

PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.

PREDICTION #4:
The "one bad experience" problem may seriously hamper initial Robo-Cab adoption.
And with social media how it is, all you'll hear about are the bad experiences.
The media & your Facebook friends will lap it up.
Although, Facebook could be dead by then...

apis:

--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---PREDICTION #1:
Robocabs that can match a human driver in practicality are *many* years away. Perhaps even a decade or more.

--- End quote ---
They don't have to. They have to be safer than human drivers, but in other respects it will be a question of price vs convenience. If a robocab is more convenient than the bus and cheaper than a normal cab (and possibly cheaper than the bus!) people will use them.


--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.

--- End quote ---
Yes. Although last year Waymo said they would launch Waymo One without safety drivers in Phoenix this year. So far they have launched Waymo One but they are still using safety drivers. It's hard to tell how close they are to the goal because it's such a competitive market now that everything is kept secret.

But Phoenix is only their first pilot project. It will take a few more years before they launch in other cities, and then a few more years before they start to expand the operating area. It will take decades before they will be operating outside the US I suspect.


--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---
And they could still suck in many situations.

--- End quote ---
There will be many instances when the robocabs will seem stupid (because they are, it's not a general AI), especially in the beginning. But as long as it isn't safety related and doesn't cause too much inconvenience I don't think it will be a show stopper. People will use them as long as it is safe, cost effective and "good enough".


--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---PREDICTION #2:
People taking Robo-cabs won't like or trust traditional looking cars with an empty front seat and steering wheel whizzing around.
Expect something different to win out.

--- End quote ---
I think something different will win out but mostly for other reasons. You want to use all seats for passengers, and the operating companies probably doesn't want the passengers to try and interfere with the driving controls. So the steering wheel, etc, will be removed (or at least hidden).

There will probably also be more specialised vehicles. You use a phone app to order a vehicle, so I assume you will fill in how many you are, where you are going and if you have any luggage or special needs, and then they send an appropriate car to handle your specific request.

If a lot of trips are short with only one passenger for example, then there will probably be small 1-2 seated cars that can handle such requests. One can also imagine there will be mini busses that pick up people during rush hours for example. Time will tell.


--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---PREDICTION #3:
Johnny Cab won't happen. People will detest humanoid robots trying to interact with them.

--- End quote ---
Agree. A stupid animatronic puppet that annoys you and takes up precious space. Remember Clippy? People doesn't wan't a "human" interface in between them and the machine.


--- Quote from: EEVblog on May 15, 2019, 06:49:19 am ---PREDICTION #4:
The "one bad experience" problem may seriously hamper initial Robo-Cab adoption.
And with social media how it is, all you'll hear about are the bad experiences.
The media & your Facebook friends will lap it up.
Although, Facebook could be dead by then...

--- End quote ---
Yes, if they rush it and launch big before the service is ready it will probably set them back many years because of the publicity backlash. But they have already invested so much in this, they won't abandon this idea easily.

Bud:

--- Quote ---Anyone talking next year is kidding themselves.
--- End quote ---
Weed smoking Musk has promised exactly that, putting them on the streets next year. Yeah, another visionary thing. With cannabis the term "visionary" takes a new meaning.

Bud:
People will use them for sex, drinking, and leave all sort of garbage behind.

0xdeadbeef:
I would argue that real autonomous driving (in a real world traffic situation you could encounter today in a car) could only work reliably with real artificial intelligence (and not some brainless neuronal network giving somewhat nondeterministic results) so it could react to unexpected situations at least as good as a human driver.
So even ten years from now sounds pretty much optimistic unless there is some unexpected breakthrough in AI. While I would really look forward to have autonomous driving in twenty years or so when I'm retired and half-blind, I would not entrust a car with my life that will decapitate me when mixing up a traffic sign with a truck.
It's somewhat shocking to see how easily today's image recognition systems can be tricked into totally overlooking traffic signs, persons and what not.

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