Here’s a great way to solve all of this taxi-Uber chaos: take drivers out of the equation and replace them with robots.
No licensing discrepancies, no wage issues, no discussion on who has the friendlier employees.
Beginning next year, that’s exactly the direction Japan is taking. An unmanned taxi service, Robot Taxi Inc., for 50 people will be rolled out in Kanagawa prefecture, just south of Tokyo. The autonomous cars will carry them from their homes to local grocery stores for a distance of around three kilometres.
The two companies developing the technology are hoping to commercialize its driverless transportation service by 2020. Priority will be given to travellers from abroad and locals who don’t have sufficient access to public transportation.
“There are a lot of people who say it’s impossible, but I think this will happen faster than people expect,” said vice minister Shinjiro Koizumi.
Google is having a very competitive day.