Would Robot Taxis Ease Carbon Emissions?

Will robot taxis (or, alternately, autonomous cars) result in environmental gains as well as convenience?

A paper published today in Nature Climate Change, Autonomous taxis could greatly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions of Light-duty vehicles, examines the effect to greenhouse gas emissions.


(Johnny Cab, probably not an Electric Vehicle)

Saxena Autonomous vehicles (AVs) are conveyances to move passengers or freight without human intervention. AVs are potentially disruptive both technologically and socially1–3, with claimed benefits including increased safety, road utilization,driver productivity and energy savings1–6. Here we estimate2014 and 2030 greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions and costs of autonomous taxis (ATs), a class of fully autonomous 7, 8 shared AVs likely to gain rapid early market share, through three synergistic effects: (1) future decreases in electricityGHG emissions intensity, (2) smaller vehicle sizes resulting from trip-specific AT deployment, and (3) higher annual vehicle-miles travelled (VMT), increasing high-efficiency (especially battery-electric) vehicle cost-effectiveness.Combined, these factors could result in decreased US per-mileGHG emissions in 2030 per AT deployed of 87–94% below current conventionally driven vehicles (CDVs), and 63–82%below projected 2030 hybrid vehicles9, without including other energy-saving benefits of AVs. With these substantialGHG savings, ATs could enable GHG reductions even if totalVMT, average speed and vehicle size increased substantially.Oil consumption would also be reduced by nearly 100%.

Philip K. Dick wasn't worried about carbon emissions (as far as I know), but robot taxis were on his list of tech to watch for:

The sedative calmed him down a trifle; he emerged and flagged down a robot taxi.

"Main Directorate building," he told the driver. "And take your time."

"All right, sir or madam," the MacMillan robot answered, adding, "Whatever you say." MacMillans weren't capable of fine discriminations.
(Read more about Phil Dick's robot taxi)

Other writers loved the "robotic taxi" idea, in various guises. Larry Niven's bubble cars from World out of Time (1976) or the tin cabbie from James Blish's 1957 novel Cities in Flight. A more recent take can be found in Alan Dean Foster's 2006 novel Sagramanda; see the automated taxi.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 6/24/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Vehicle ")

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.' - David H. Keller, 1935.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...' - Isaac Asimov, 1953.

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Fungi-Infused Concrete Repairs Itself
'I noticed that curious mottled knots were forming, indicating where the room had been strained and healed faultily.'

Shiftwear Display Shoes
'He unlaced her shoe and glanced at its readout.'

NASA SEXTANT First With X-Ray Nav In Space
'You need at least four beacons for an accurate fix.'

GM Introduces Cruise AV With No Steering Wheel
'How about the steering wheel?' ... 'I do not need one.'

Subsurface Martian Ice Slabs Piece Of Cake For Miners
'One shy little fellow with bloodshot eyes of old-time drillman stood up. 'I'm an ice miner,' he said.'

LG Rollable Version Of Niven's Poster TV
'A television that unrolled like a poster.'

Multi-Robot Farming On Highly Sloped Land
High Plains, indeed.

Aeolus Robot Brings Jetson's Rosie Closer
Domestic duties, robotically performed.

Sony's New, Cuter Aibo Robot Puppy
Engineered to be adorable.

Earth-1 Transformer Gundam Car
Is it a Gundam? Or maybe a Transformer.

Self-Driving Domino's Pizza Car
Yes, but can it negotiate entry at your Burbclave?

I Want Massive Space Freighters!
Ah, the space freighters of old.

When Will The Feds Ban Human Drivers?
'The first laws came out forcing the old machines off the highways...'

Our World Formed In A Bubble?
'The Worldcraft bubble glittered, catching the light...'

Will You Live To See EM Pulse Scattering By Ships Nearing Light Speed?
'...half a million kilometers away, the Stardrive went on.'

Jabil Integrated Textile Heart Monitoring
'Della's first present was an imipolex sweatshirt called a heartshirt…'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.