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 socially13, with claimed benefits including increased safety, road utilization,driver productivity and energy savings16. 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 8794% below current conventionally driven vehicles (CDVs), and 6382%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 ")

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

Tesla Model 3 Has Outside Speaker Grille
Robert Heinlein does it again.

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...' - James Blish, 1957.

 

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

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

Driverless Hotel Rooms Predicted In 1828
'Did you never see a moving house before?'

Yandex Self-Driving Taxi Is Very Smooth
'The big car was slowing down, its computer brain sensing an exit ahead.'

Shrimp Actually Made Of Algae Is A New Wave Food
Bring in that crop algae.

Cosplay Style Wings Could Work On Moon
'They're lovely! - titanalloy struts as light and strong as bird-bones...'

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.