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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  • Article: Google’s self driving cars have scored a major victory in California. Beware if you are a taxi or bus driver.

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  • Sandra Bernhard

    I thought of this months ago myself.
    I live in a city where the airport is a significant distance from the downtown.

    The only way to the airport was via a bus shuttle service which cost around $13, taxi, which cost anywhere from $25-$40 or transit bus, which took forever, and would be almost prohibitive with luggage.

    Our city hosted the winter games a couple years ago and we had a subway/skytrain system built that went right to the door of the airport, in fact it’s last stop is in the airport. Taxi drivers were extremely mad — they lost out on a lot of business. Now you could go from downtown to the airport for $2.50. The private shuttle service “Airporter” also went out of business.

    This is not conjecture — This is really what happened. It is very real. Businesses closed and people lost jobs. But at the end of the day, the subway right to the airport is less expensive, faster and more convenient.

    Taxi drivers, transport truck drivers, garbage truck services, delivery services, bus drivers, etc should all be freaking out.
    In fact, this might be a game changer not just to small local markets where it makes a slight dent to business, but it could literally change the economy.

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