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 ")

Tesla Autopilot's 40 Percent Crash Reduction
''I hope all those other cars are on automatic,' he said anxiously.' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976

Cormorant Flying Car
'The cab came floating down out of the sky...' - James Blish, 1957.

Star Wars Speeder Bikes! On Water, By Jetovator
'Hey, wait!' Now, you don't need to say that.

Honda To Offer Car With Emotions
'All the doors in this spaceship have a cheerful and sunny disposition.' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

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

Matrix Sentinel Ancestor, The Pipe Inspector Robot From Krakow
Watch out, Keanu!

Auto-Focus Smart Glasses Have Liquid Lenses
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension by an enclosing force field within a viewing tube...'

Robotic Physician Assistant Has Steady 'Hands'
'You turned the screws below and the prongs moved... with caliper slowness, minuteness and precision.'

Roboy 3DPrinted Humanoid Robot
'A robot child that would be reared within the bosom of a human family...'

Robird Flapping Wing Drones Keep Airports Safe
'Mitch heard a rasping, flacketing buzz, like a big insect...'

3D Printed Fashion - Plastirobes And Transdresses
'... dial a new fashion every day!'

Robotic Lawn Mower Powered By Sun, Arduino
'The mower reached the edge of the lawn, clucked to itself like a contented hen...'

Google Perfects 'Blade Runner-style' Photo Details
'Pull back... stop... enhance 57-19...'

Pokerbot Libratus Learns To Lie (Bluff)
'Lying's a vital part of your psychological defense system - you're naked without it!'

Otto Autonomous Robot Trucks Run Into... Legal Snag
'They were automatic trucks such as are used for making deliveries...'

Tiny Drones With Sticky Feet Pollinate Flowers Now
'The Scarab rubbed its hind legs together...'

ThreeForm 3D Scans And Digitally Simulates Customer Fashion
'...A miracle of misapplied engineering caused his own face to appear on the illustrated figures dressed in trooper red.'

CloudFisher - Moroccan Fog Farmers Harvest Moisture From The Air
'That moisture trickles down...'

Piaggio Gita Personal Robot Porter
'Carry his bag... and follow him faithfully...'

Ardu McDuino, Bagpipe Robot
'Rollo sat at the keyboard, prim, inhuman, rigid, twin lenses focused...'

Not Quite Self-Replicating Robots, Franka Emika
'... it shares with mankind the ability to propagate.'

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.