Taxi and bus drivers beware: Google cars will take your jobs

Google’s self driving cars are about to move out of the shadows and into the limelight following a major new victory in California as the senate there passed a bill favouring autonomous vehicle operation on its roads.  If Google is lucky it will be in a position to drive its cars in California from 2013 – it can already drive its cars in Nevada.

Google’s initiative has the possibility of being a significant game changer in transport.  On the positive side, normal cars may simply have a “Google drive” option, a form of autonomous driving akin to a vastly improved cruise control.  This would be ideal for motorway driving and as more vehicles are fitted with “Google drive” it would improve traffic safety, increase the number of cars that could be on the road at any one time and improve average driving speeds for commuters.  Gone would be the days when traffic seemed to randomly slow then stop, despite the fact that there appeared to be no obstacle causing it.

It may also have a positive contribution in making personal taxis highly cost effective by cutting out the taxi driver.  If you want to go somewhere you could just call one up, and it would arrive on your doorstep and then take you to your destination. The business model could be a cross over between a hired car and a taxi service.

But if you are a taxi or mini cab driver, beware.  The need to have a human driving the taxi is very expensive, Google taxis should be able to significantly charge less than ones that are manned and should be safer.  Eventually “Google drive” will make its way into buses and trucks.

If you are a taxi, bus or truck driver, beware:  Google may be about to make your job redundant.



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