Tags: taxibots | google | toronto | sidewalk

Google Envisions Future of 'Taxibots' in Major Cities

Image: Google Envisions Future of 'Taxibots' in Major Cities
(Rolf Vennenbernd/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 October 2017 10:49 PM

Developers are reportedly looking at on-demand "taxibots" for a new waterfront Google community in Toronto — a digital robot ride that may roll out in Arizona as well.

Sidewalk Labs, which is part of Google parent company Alphabet, announced Tuesday it'd create a "mixed-use, complete community on Toronto's Eastern Waterfront," with amenities that include a shared, autonomous "taxibot" network, according to the project's website.

"A shared-ride taxibot network can offer the advantages of point-to-point service with space and fuel economies approaching that of the city bus, replacing private cars while supporting transit enhancements," according to the plan.

"Sidewalk will explore partnerships, including with its sibling company Waymo, to test multiple types of self-driving vehicles on the Eastern Waterfront."

The Google city robot rides would consist of vans with six to 12 seats that'd take passengers throughout the community, Forbes reported.

Bloomberg reported Waymo's participation in the project earlier Tuesday.

Sidewalk Labs reportedly could also convert its driverless minivan pilot program in suburban Phoenix — which operates with Waymo technicians at the wheel — into a commercial, on-demand ride service for customers, without a human safety driver.

Waymo's program in Chandler, Arizona uses plug-in hybrid Pacifica minivans with seating for up to seven passengers. According to Forbes, the program works by riders request a Waymo van using a company-designed app, hit a button in the app to start the ride, and tap another to stop it.

Sidewalks Labs also is looking at autonomous commercial deliveries, Forbes reported.

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Developers are reportedly looking at on-demand "taxibots" for a new waterfront Google community in Toronto - a digital robot ride that may roll out in Arizona as well.
taxibots, google, toronto, sidewalk
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2017-49-17
Tuesday, 17 October 2017 10:49 PM
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