Your self-driving robotaxi is almost here

11 min Source: TED Talk
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The technology still has a way to go, but self-drive taxis could solve traffic congestion and pollution worldwide.


Aicha Evans is the CEO of an autonomous vehicle company called Zoox. In this TED Talk, Evans talks about her perspective on the future of self-drive cars. Her arguments include:

Individually owned cars (including self-drive cars) are a wasteful expense and contribute to pollution and traffic congestion in urban areas. 

The downside to the much-touted self-driving shuttles is that they are designed for mass movement and usually cannot take you directly from point A to B.

Robotaxis are the solution because they can take you specifically from point A to point B. As well, they can help solve traffic congestion because each robotaxi could replace dozens of personal vehicles.

The technology (cameras and algorithms) that run self-drive vehicles cannot yet match the human brain’s ability to understand and interpret the environment. So, from a safety perspective, the technology isn’t quite there yet.

Due to the endless number of scenarios for drivers, Evans’ company is using computer simulation to construct millions of different scenarios in a fabricated environment to see how the software reacts. 

Once the software is perfected and self-drive vehicles are commonplace, Evans claims the number of vehicle accidents will drop dramatically.

There’s still a way to make autonomous robotaxis safe and reliable every time they take to the road, but Evans believes we’re on the cusp of making that happen. Transcript available here.