Friday, May 20, 2016

Autonomous Cars -- Uber Drivers May Be Next in the Queue for the Dole

Now Uber, the nearly-ubiquitous car lift company, is getting interested in autonomous vehicles. Ar the BBC, we read,

Uber's ultimate goal is a complete end to car ownership - and it's wasting no time.
It wants you to be able to summon a car, have it arrive in less than five minutes, and take you where you want to go.
In major cities it has just about hit that goal. The average time for being picked up by an Uber is less than five minutes. This week, the company began a scheme that gave all residents in a small San Francisco community $100 (£68.50) every month to spend on Uber.
But Uber's big inconvenience is the fact it needs drivers, and so this line of research is about eliminating that final piece of the puzzle to boost profits even more.
Uber isn't alone - rival ride-sharing service Lyft announced a tie-up with Chevrolet to use autonomous driving as well, but it's Uber that seems unstoppable in its goal to be the dominant force in global ground travel.

As interest builds in self-driving cars, everyone seems to be getting in on the action. Big names such as Google and Apple are working diligently, but so are many other companies, as we see in this list. Will cooperation help speed our ability to get rid of the personal car? Perhaps sharing the map data that many of these systems use is one answer. Announcing their acquisition of Here Maps last year, Daimler, Volkswagen and BMW stated that “the high-precision cameras and sensors installed in modern cars are the digital eyes for updating mobility data and maps”. The idea of crowdsourcing map data, one of Google's big advantages, gives them a leg up over traditional firms.

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