We have drooled about the possibility of having Self-driving taxis or Matatus one day, and according to recently departed Wall Street Journal writer Amir Efrati this could become a reality. Google is reportedly now designing and developing its own self-driving car. Google has for some time now tried to convince auto makers to get its self-driving vehicle technology built into their and efforts have been fruitless. In light of that the company is now said to be interested in making a car of its own. Google is reportedly holding talks with contract manufacturers to build vehicles to its own specifications and designs, though it’s unclear if Google will follow through with the plans.
Google’s robo-taxi fleet
The Efrati report further stipulates that Google is considering offering the cars as “robo-taxis,” Efrati reports. The self-driving taxis could become part of a fleet that picks customers up on demand. Of course Google isn’t interested in operating such a service itself. Under Google’s vision, human drivers would be present at first to mitigate safety concerns, but eventually, the hope is that they wouldn’t be required.
Google is apparently interested in building the cars in a way that will scale and be widely available, which may be part of the appeal of a taxi service.
Will cost you an arm and leg
The cars might be expensive too. According to Efrati’s report Google’s current self-driving vehicles, are modified Toyotas that come to a total cost of $150,000 each. The company has been working to lower their price, in part through designing the hardware itself.