Will at least 10 world cities have a generally available self-driving taxi service by 2025?
Dec 31, 2024
Resolved to YES if on 2025-01-01: - 10 cities with more than 300,000 inhabitants - Have a taxi service of fully self-driving cars (no test, backup or remote human driver - passengers are the only humans in the car and they control where the car is going by specifying a destination). - The service is generally available (anyone can register for the service and order rides with no restrictions other than the obvious ones that would be placed on similar human-operated services like Uber and Lyft - for example: need a smartphone, credit card), subject to availability (supply constraints are OK). - It is reasonable to assume that the service is not considered a restricted experiment by the operating company or local authorities (based on publicly available media and reports). Mar 4, 8:27pm: John Carmack is betting quite a lot of real money on a very similar proposition, but 5 years later: https://twitter.com/ID_AA_Carmack/status/1499803694522589187 | https://blog.codinghorror.com/the-2030-self-driving-car-bet/
https://www.timesofisrael.com/new-legislation-paves-path-for-trial-of-driverless-autonomous-taxis-in-israel/ "The Knesset on Tuesday night passed legislation that will allow companies to pilot autonomous shared transportation, like taxis, with passengers in the vehicle but without a safety driver on Israeli roads."
I paid M$1 to give my 2 cents! I hope it resolves Y but I think it is a bit too optimistic. Definitely by 2030. Getting costs down will be the issue. In terms of long term markets like this I wonder if manifold should allocate some long term M$ to each member because I don’t want to lock up a lot of money for years even if its fake internet tokens.
Why I'm with YES: 1. There are already restricted experiments in at least two cities ( https://waymo.com/waymo-one/ , https://www.getcruise.com/services ), and no reports that there are any problems with them. The confidence required for launching such experimental services is very high because of the risks involved. The companies and local authorities wouldn't have green-lighted these if they weren't confident that they are effectively ready for general availability. 2. At least the Cruise service in San Francisco seems to be handling enough complexity to suggest that it will be possible it to replicate to many other urban environments. 3. Several other companies have credible development projects in this market ( https://www.mobileye.com/blog/self-driving-robotaxi-sixt-germany-iaa/ , https://sdg.yandex.com/ , https://www.tesla.com/autopilot ). 4. There is strong competitive pressure on companies to expand their coverage and capture market share as soon as the technology and the business model are proven safe and viable. 5. Prospective users seem enthusiastic about the possibility - there are good reasons to believe that once the service is on offer it will meet significant demand. Especially if it is offered for prices that are lower than typical human-operated services (admittedly, that's just my perception, not quantified by any research I'm aware of).