California Gov. Edmund G Brown Jr., front left, rides in a driverless car  to a bill signing at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012.  The legislation will open the way for driverless cars in the state. Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the legislation has a fleet of driverless cars that has logged more than 300,000 miles (482,780 kilometers) of self-driving on California roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
California Gov. Edmund G Brown Jr., front left, rides in a driverless car to a bill signing at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2012. The legislation will open the way for driverless cars in the state. Google, which has been developing autonomous car technology and lobbying for the legislation has a fleet of driverless cars that has logged more than 300,000 miles (482,780 kilometers) of self-driving on California roads. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

The cab's here, the driver's a robot!

By David Gardner Time of article published Aug 27, 2013

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Google is aiming to create a fleet of driverless ‘robo-taxis’ that could do away with the need for people to run their own cars.

The tech giant’s revolutionary concept for cars operated by computers would apparently improve safety by slashing the number of accidents caused by human error.

The cost of the vehicles - about $155 000 (R1.6 million) each - has deterred car manufacturers from embracing the project. But US tech insiders say Google is talking to major auto component companies such as Continental and Magna about creating its own ‘robo-taxi’ ranks in major cities.

Clients would hail the cab and pay for it on their smartphone.

A cabbie would be at the wheel at first, as emergency back-up, with drivers being phased out over time. Google’s autonomous cars have been cleared to drive in four states in the US, and UK legislators have given permission for tests.

The futuristic cars have so far been involved in only two accidents - one in which a car was rear-ended after it stopped at a red light and the other when a human driver took control of the vehicle. - Daily Mail

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