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

PassivDom 3D Printed House - What If You Could Live Anywhere?
'The houses are prefabricated units...'

Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells
This blood's for you!

Caihong Solar-Powered Drone 'Atmospheric Satellite'
'... placed in the wings of a plane to generate power from the light falling on that surface.'

NASA Wants Low Earth Orbit Wifi
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Is Genetic Testing At Businesses A Bad Idea?
It's not a topic that fares well in science fiction movies-

Wearable Smart Jacket
He pressed the button in his sleeve communicator and snapped: 'Action stations!'

Store One Bit On One Atom
'...each individual molecule has a meaning.'

Fluorescent Bacteria Fashion
'The racks of gowns itched and quivered, their colors running into blurred pools.'

Keith Laumer's Bolo Autonomous Tanks Right On Schedule
'I cannot lie idle under attack.'

When Computers Develop Their Own Language, Will They Talk To Us?
'The curious absent look of a robot talking on the TBR circuits - the Talk Between Robots radio...'

LipNet Reads Lips - Until Disconnected, That Is
'We'd have to cut his higher brain functions... I'm not sure what [HAL} would think about that.'

Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'

Wearable MRI Is Former Occulus/Facebook Exec's New Project
'Your cephalochromoscope... that you always turn on and play when you get home...'

Ford Stratasys Infinte Build 3D Printer
'He proudly indicated his Buick... Almost as good as the original it was printed from...'

The Space Suit As Personal Spaceship
'Darn clever, these suits...'

Dune Fans! Your God Emperor Is Ready
'If one held a sandtrout in the hand, smoothing it over your skin, it formed a living glove.'

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.