Self-driven taxis in France

In this digital world, where technology surrounds us in every aspect of daily life, it should not surprise us that artificial intelligence takes the wheel to move users from one place to another. Right now many companies are evaluating the ideas of create the first models of cars that can drive by itself replacing the human interaction, which create some divided opinions, the people that will be directly affected will be the professional drivers because they thought that machines will replace to them and they will be without a job with the inclusion of these so-called autonomous vehicles. 

These autonomous vehicles can move without the need to have a pilot, with the help of a lot of sensors, cameras, radars, and a computer system that will indicate the speed they must have, the route to travel, the traffic in the streets and if there are obstacles in their journey. Maybe, you think that this will happen in many years, but it is completely different and there are many of these types of vehicles transiting the streets and perhaps we have not realized, so we think they are science fiction.

Right now while you are reading this article, companies such as Google already have spent time in the market developing this kind of autonomous vehicles, they already had made performance tests on the roads of California through sensors, cameras, and a computer system that tells them how fast they should travel and what distance they should keep with respect to other vehicles or objects that are in its road. One of the first companies in create the concept of autonomous cars was Volvo, with the presentation of its autonomous vehicle model, which has a set of cameras, laser sensors and radars through that can establish a 360 degree map for the vehicle that will allow it to have a range of up to 150 meters, that range will be enough to indicate to the car what kind of obstacles are presented on the way. With, these autonomous vehicles it is sought to reduce both the expenses in public transport and the traffic accidents that are originated by distracted drivers in their cell phone or who drive while intoxicated.

The city of Paris, France, is considered one of the most important in Europe, is identified by always being in constant movement with a population of approximately two million inhabitants, and it represents one of the economic axes of the country, due the large number of people which receives either business or tourism, so that alternatives are always sought to be mobilized. It is for this reason that it will join the technological trend and launch autonomous vehicles on the market, where its first models will offer taxi services on the streets of the city of light.

One of the first companies in present these autonomous vehicles in the city of Paris, is the Navya company with its model called “Autonom Cab” which is characterized by the fact of not presenting either pedals or steering wheel, with a maximum speed of 88 km/h, with ability to transport up to 6 passengers. This robot taxi (as many people name it) with 10 sensors, 6 cameras, 2 receiving antennas and 4 radars, it will allow you to measure speed, orientation, distance among other factors to transit the streets of Paris in a safely and different way. It also has a band inside that will allow you to communicate with your passengers, and a digital platform that will give users the option of requesting a cultural tour through Paris, selecting a music playlist or comparing tickets to cultural or historical centers. Through internet, all this in the cabin of this taxi robot. Representatives of this company, and the head of the project assure that the new taxi generation does not seek to drive, is just wants to offer to the user a different way of transportation that can be quickly and safely to move around to any place, without worrying about traffic.

The goal of this company is to offer a new alternative of mobilization in a medium that is always undergoing change that adapts to the user’s needs, and to the lifestyle that they lead in the busy city of Paris. Navya has a short-term estimate of a fleet of 450 autonomous vehicles by the end of this year. Autonomous vehicles are the result of a great effort in research and development of artificial intelligence. In order to guarantee the safety of the passengers and reduce the traffic accident statistics, the Autonom Cab will have an average speed of 50 km an hour.

But Navya is not the only one that want to take the front in this field, there is another French company that will join to this trend, and that is Seat, with a proposal for autonomous and electric vehicles. According to his projections, they seek to begin with the tests for self-driven taxis services in the city of Paris in order to examine the performance of these autonomous vehicles in the face of the hectic traffic that characterizes this city. According to statements published by the company, the first model of robot taxi will be called Sedric and its launch is scheduled for 2019. Where it was also stated that with the inclusion of these taxis, it will be possible to reduce transportation costs of people by 90%.

This class of autonomous vehicles that will present the services as taxis in the city of Paris, will determine the transit route through artificial intelligence systems, where parameters such as speed, distance between vehicles and present obstacles will also be verified. To contract this type of services, the reserve will be made through mobile applications in which it will be determined what taxi robot is available at the moment of the request, and the proximity of the pick-up point of the user in order to guarantee a fast transportation of service. For, that reason these types of vehicles will always remain connected to the network with the purpose of knowing in real time the traffic conditions, and the available access routes. Throughout of mobile applications not only the service can be requested, but also the payment of such service can be made easily and quickly for users.

The self-driven taxis or robot taxis, are presented as a transport alternative not only for the inhabitants of Paris but also for tourists who visit, due to traffic or the fact of not knowing the access routes they look for practical options to mobilize from quickly and easy way in the city. Many people were asked if they would use this type of service, and they have had a good reception regarding this transportation model. Such is the case of a student boy in Paris who said that he would use the taxi robot to get around since it is a fast and adapted way to the lifestyle of today, besides that will be like be in the future just now. Similarly, commented a Spanish tourist who would love to take a tour of the city of Paris with a taxi robot, as it would be the perfect mix between technology and the cultural and historical diversity that this city offers, which would be a very interesting

This mobility alternative seeks to revolutionize the vehicle manufacturing market throughout the world. According to studies carried out for the year 2028, it will be usual for any mother to send their children to school in a self-driving vehicle, or for people to go to their work to opt for robot taxis in a fast and reliable way to move around the city from Paris. It is established that for that year the purchase of own vehicles will have very little demand since it would be cheaper to request a taxi service from an application on a smartphone. With the incredible development of artificial intelligence in this field, it is very likely that autonomous vehicles will become the first option that every person thinks when taking a taxi.

Taxi robots will have to compete with conventional services and VTCs that, in addition to moving people from one place to another, seek to make their users feel safe and comfortable. There are concerns about the human drivers and users if a vehicle operated by artificial intelligence will have the expertise to deal with traffic in a city as congested as Paris, and make the right decisions regarding access routes, according to the promoters of these types of vehicles at this moment they are all being making field tests to measure the performance and effectiveness of these taxi models when dealing with the traffic in a city like Paris, in addition to measuring all the regulations that have in terms of speed and distance between one vehicle and another. It is also sought that for this kind of mobility alternatives to be more useful, the regulation at the level of traffic for them becomes more flexible, since currently in France no autonomous vehicle can travel on open roads without a driver. Many companies that are investing in this type of vehicles have suggested that reforms in the traffic regulations be discussed with the purpose of this kind of alternatives being included.

According to the marketing projections for the year 2030, the self-driven taxis will represent 40% of the automobile sector and will affect about 30% decline in the demand for vehicles of private use. This suggests that the taxi robotic service will take space away from conventional taxis and VTCs in less time than you think, due it will be much easier to request and we have to be honest it will be more interesting to travel in this type of taxi than a conventional one or cheaper than a VTC. It is estimated that if there is a lot of demand for this models of taxis, many professionals of the wheel will be out of work, although it is also true that the quality of the attention, and a good service from an experienced driver will not make the easy way to taxi robots. The technology has changed every sector of life of human beings not only mobility, but also medicine, communications among others. These changes have made the human being adapt and change constantly with the idea of ​​moving forward and doing things in a faster or more practical way.

Communication will be the key element to that taxi robot be successful, due a good driver must always be alert not only to the route he is traveling but also to pedestrians, other vehicles and their interaction. What makes the act of driving the right way is not an easy task. Many studies conducted to test the performance of these vehicles have confirmed that the biggest challenge for communication between the vehicle and the pedestrian will be to predict the behavior of passers-by, since something very natural in every human being is to act unpredictably ways before different circumstances. For this reason, the tests that have been carried out seek that the vehicle uses its full potential so that the pedestrian or passenger can understand the signals that it can give or visualize them and, thus, not have any type of accident. That human and robot interaction, is not something of science fiction since we can see it in several fields of our life, where artificial intelligence has taken big spaces. In such a way that the taxi robots will go from being a futuristic alternative of mobility to being a type of daily transport.

The city of light is recognized for always being at the forefront in every aspect of daily life that is why this mobility alternative will be another important step that will not only provide quality and safer ways of transportation and good service but also in the implementation of the best and advanced technological improvement that will make easier the quality of life of the citizens. With, the inclusion of the self-driven taxis the future is here!