Driverless taxis coming to Los Angeles

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2024/03/17/driverless-taxis-coming-to-los-angeles.html

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I hope they receive the same warm welcome a Waymo taxi did in SF Chinatown.

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So what’s our legal (or most effective illegal) recourse here? I’m all for driverless cars, but not until we have designated driverless car roads. Until then they’re a proven menace.

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donate as much money as google to the city council and their pet projects?

( presumably, that’s what’s going on here. )

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Extra points for addressing both options at the same time!

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Driverless taxis coming to Los Angeles

By their own accord?

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Given the current state of development, unlikely. However, there are reports of a couple of Waymos humming I Love LA.
However, their actual performance in Los Angeles will, of course, depend a lot on which kind of training data they scraped off the internet.

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Given the amount of workers required to oversee operation of the cars (1.5 people per vehicle), and that they cost less than an Uber, I imagine they’re losing money on these, potentially quite a bit. I expect the plan is similar to Uber’s early strategy: operate them at a loss, get people used to them, then hike the prices.

The problem is, that assumes they have a long-term future, and won’t get regulated out of existence after accidents add up and people get more and more upset. Which is something that would happen even if they were safer than human drivers - the attention paid to each accident means that there’s a public perception of them being even more unsafe than they actually are. Also, the plan, in order to be economically feasible, would have to be cheaper than an Uber (the driver in the car adds value), and that’s not possible with 1.5 trained tech-support staff required per car (who are probably actual employees, with overhead and making more than Uber drivers, too). Which means they’re assuming they’ll be able to get the technology to a point where they can operate with less than one worker per vehicle… but they may never get to that point (at least without massive problems).

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#notallhorses

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entitled-wrong-opinion

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Medicine saves lives; we need more thalidomide.

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… OH NO what am i wrong about now :sob:

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Also, why don’t people travel by dirigible anymore? Seemed a perfectly pleasant form of travel, why did we abandon them!

nbc GIF by Timeless

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As opposed to sound foolish right now?

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Helium, Prof, helium. Ever so much safer and funny voices. But make sure you’ve got your ticket on you.

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Surprised Seth Meyers GIF by Late Night with Seth Meyers

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Realsoonnow. Uber spent more than a decade promising shareholders that self-driving cars would replace those pesky human drivers “in a couple of years”. And yet I didn’t see one autonomous vehicle doing pickups for Uber at the airport the other day.

Even if you accept that they’ll eventually get self-driving cars right, it’s become manifestly obvious (at least to people who actually understand technology and business) that this is a hard problem that will take time to solve. Otherwise they wouldn’t be doing beta tests of one-tonne high-velocity vehicles on public streets.

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