Autonomous taxis, or self-driving taxis, operate using complex systems of sensors, cameras, radars, and artificial intelligence (AI) to navigate roads without a human driver. They’re designed to improve road safety, provide efficient transportation, ease traffic congestion, and positively impact the environment by potentially reducing carbon emissions.
As of now, multiple cities, including San Francisco, California and Phoenix, Arizona have autonomous taxi services, piloted by companies like Waymo and Cruise. These programs are gradually expanding as the technology continues to evolve and businesses gain regulatory approval.
In this Article
What Is the History of Waymo?
The Google Self-Driving Car Project, initiated in 2009, aimed to develop technology for autonomous vehicles, ultimately paving the way for the establishment of Waymo, a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc in 2016.
What Problems Have San Francisco and Phoenix Had With Driverless Taxis?
Driverless taxis promise numerous benefits for future use, including increased road safety, reduced human error, and cost efficient transportation with unlimited access for passengers unable to drive.
However, they’ve also faced challenges. Uneven or poor road conditions can confuse the AI, and they struggle to interpret complex human behaviors, such as hand signals from a traffic officer. Furthermore, there are concerns about job displacement for traditional taxi drivers and potential cybersecurity threats.
As this technology continues to evolve, these issues need to be addressed to ensure the successful implementation of these driverless cars and taxis.
When Are Autonomous Taxis Scheduled to Be Available in Chicago?
As of now, there’s no confirmed date for the deployment of driverless taxis in Chicago. While the city has been proactive in embracing smart city technologies, and companies like Waymo and Cruise are expanding their services, it’s unclear when self-driving taxis will hit Chicago streets.
Regulatory approval, infrastructure development and readiness, and solving technical challenges are key factors that city officials say will determine the timeline for autonomous taxi services in the Windy City.
How Does Chicago Compare with San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles in Readiness for the Driverless Taxi?
While San Francisco and Phoenix are already piloting self-driving taxi services, implying a higher level of readiness for this new kind of mobility service, Chicago is yet to debut such programs. However, its proactive approach in adopting smart city technologies could fast-track its prep.
Los Angeles, while not as advanced as Phoenix or San Francisco, is next on Waymo’s list, indicating it may be slightly ahead of Chicago in preparation for autonomous taxi implementation.
What Barriers Does Chicago Face in Adopting the Robot Taxi?
In adopting autonomous taxis, Chicago will grapple with barriers in infrastructure, regulation, and technology.
Meeting the stringent safety and operational regulations for autonomous vehicles.
Ensuring city and street infrastructure is fit for autonomous vehicle navigation.
Overcoming the status quo, skepticism, and promoting social acceptance of autonomous taxis.
What Does Chicago’s Experience with E-scooters Tell Us?
Chicago’s experience with e-scooters provides insights into public receptivity, infrastructure needs, and regulatory challenges that could mirror the city’s experience with autonomous vehicles. It serves as a smaller-scale test case for the deployment, testing and integration of new transportation technologies.
Public Receptivity: E-scooters have been well-received in Chicago, indicating openness towards innovative transportation solutions.
Infrastructure Needs: The e-scooter rollout highlighted the importance of adequate infrastructure, like dedicated lanes, for safe operation.
Regulatory Challenges: The e-scooter experience underscored the need for comprehensive and adaptable regulations for emerging technologies.
How Safe Are Autonomous Taxis?
The safety record of autonomous taxis and motor vehicles is still under scrutiny. For instance, an Uber self-driving car was involved in a fatal accident with a pedestrian in Arizona, marking one of the most notable safety incidents in this field.
Confirmed in a Cornell University study, Waymo reports a lower crash rate for autonomous technology than human drivers operating in Arizona, with 47 contact incidents in 2019, none of which were the fault of the autonomous vehicle.
While these vehicles have the potential to drastically reduce accidents, it’s important to remember that they’re not infallible.
Who Is Accountable When a Vehicle in Self Driving Mode Injures Someone?
Accountability in accidents involving autonomous vehicles is a complex issue. Generally, it depends on who—or what—was behind the steering wheel or in control at the time of the incident.
If the vehicle’s autonomous systems were in control, the manufacturer could potentially be held liable. Alternatively, if a human driver had the opportunity to take over but failed to do so, they could bear responsibility.
Allow motor vehicle manufacturers to commence autonomous vehicle projects following self-certification and notification to the Secretary of State.
Require the manufacturers to set the project’s geographical boundaries, maintain incident records, and provide periodic summaries to regulatory bodies.
Require manufacturers to insure participating fleets and assume liability for any system-caused incidents.
Requires that operators of autonomous vehicles must meet the Act’s eligibility requirements, or face significant fines or misdemeanor charges for violations.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help the Victim of Accidents Involving Self Driving Cars?
A car accident lawyer from the Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers can be a valuable ally for you when you or a loved one is a victim of an accident involving a self-driving vehicle. They help you navigate this very new and complex legal terrain, which can involve both the company that manufactured the vehicle and the human operator.
Call for a Free Consultation
An attorney from The Kryder Law Group, LLC Accident and Injury Lawyers will help determine who’s at fault, handle insurance matters, and ensure you get full and fair compensation and the justice you deserve.