A major taxi company in Tokyo has recently begun testing autonomous, self-driving taxis with the hopes of being able to roll out a fleet before the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics taking place in the city. The project, a collaboration between robotics and autonomous driving technology firm ZMP and taxi company Hinomaru, will undoubtedly culminate in the 2020 Olympic pedestrian taxi-dodging gold medal event.
In the trial a minivan equipped with sensors and other autonomous technologies makes four round trips a day between commercial facilities in Tokyo's Otemachi and Roppongi districts, which are about 5.3 kilometers apart. The autonomous technology will start, stop and turn the vehicle but a driver and an assistant will be on board to ensure safety. Passengers solicited in advance will unlock the door and make payments through a smartphone app, paying 1,500 yen for a one-way ride.
The future nears, folks. Will they actually have safe and reliable self-driving taxis on the road by the Olympics in 2020? That remains to be seen. The answer is no though. We're just not there yet. Remember: as quick as an autonomous car can brake, I can jump from the roof of another car in front of that car even quicker. "Why would you do that?" To prove a point. "Which is?" I should be a Hollywood stuntman.
Thanks to v, who agrees being able to make out in the back of a car without your Uber driver watching would be nice.