Google και Uber ετοιμάζουν ρομποτικά ταξί

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Τα ρομποτικά αυτοκίνητα θα μπορούσαν να προσφέρουν κάτι περισσότερο από το να επιτρέπουν στους επιβάτες να ξεκουραστούν, να διαβάζουν τα μηνύματα ηλεκτρονικού ταχυδρομείου, ή να παρακολουθούν ταινίες κατα τη διάρκεια της διαδρομής. Εάν και όταν χρησιμοποιηθούν ως ταξί οι επιστήμονες πιστεύουν πως το είδος των ρομποτικών οχημάτων που το ετοιμάζουν η Google μαζί με την Uber θα μπορούσαν να μειώσουν και τις εκπομπές αερίων που μολύνουν την ατμόσφαιρα… κατά πολύ.

της Wendy Koch από το National Geographic

An autonomous or self-driving electric cab in 2030 could emit up to 94 percent fewer emissions per mile than a conventional gasoline car of today, and it could be far cheaper than taxis with drivers, says a study Monday by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Almost half the savings occur, because the taxi is “right-sized” for each trip.

«Most trips in the U.S. are taken singly, meaning one- or two-seat cars would satisfy most trips,» author Jeffery Greenblatt says in announcing the findings. Small taxis use less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases than larger ones that carry multiple passengers or those with luggage.

Consumers won’t be buying cars that completely drive themselves anytime soon. Still, tech companies and conventional automakers are experimenting with robotics. General Motors, for example, has announced that its 2016 Cadillac sedan will include a system that keeps the car in the lane and automates both braking and acceleration.

Google’s adorable self-driving car, which looks like the police cruisers in Disney’s Cars movies, hit the road in California this summer. It has no steering wheel or pedals but, to meet California law, it will have a human aboard—just in case.

“If all goes well, we’d like to run a small pilot program here in California in the next couple of years,» Google said in May, noting it will build 100 prototypes for testing. Some media reports say Google is looking to develop its own car-sharing business.

Not to be outdone, ride-sharing giant Uber has partnered with Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Mellon University to develop its own autonomous cars. Its prototype appeared on the streets of Pittsburgh in May.

The new study, published online in Nature Climate Change, found that self-driving vehicles could cut energy use and heat-trapping emissions the most when used as part of a shared transit system.

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