Myth: Robotaxi technology does not work and will never work. Driving is too complicated. At best “Level 5”, fully self-driving cars are decades away

 |  6 May 2024

False. There are already autonomous taxi services in operation right now, some of which are fully driverless.

Waymo, founded by Google, and Cruise, founded by General Motors, are operating driverless taxis in San Francisco and Phoenix, Arizona. In China, AutoX, Baidu and DiDi are all developing robotaxi services.

Explore the evidence...

  • By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of fully autonomous vehicles, 95% of all U.S. passenger miles will be served by Transport-as-a-Service (TaaS).  Fleets of autonomous electric vehicles (A-EVs) will provide passengers with higher levels of service, faster rides and vastly increased safety at a cost up to 10 times cheaper than today’s individually owned vehicles. To learn more about how how electric vehicle (EV) and A-EV adoption will unfold around the world, read page p27-30 of our report Rethinking Transportation.
  • Read p15-19 of our report Rethinking Transportation to learn more about how the cost of AEV & TaaS will lead to disruption.
  • Read the Tesloop Case Study on p20-21 of our report Rethinking Transportation to learn about Tesloop, the California-based company offering a low-cost alternative to both short-haul aviation and long-distance TaaS drives and their solution to the Level 5 A-EV dillema.
    • Tesloop expects driver costs to fall substantially as vehicles reach the technical capability to see Level 4 automation (the penultimate stage before full automation, Level 5). Tesloop has experimented with a business model that enables frequent passengers to book the driver’s seat after they receive “pilot training,” thus enabling them to travel for free in exchange for providing customer service and taking on emergency driving in unexpected situations. This would reduce the reliance in our model on full approval of Level 5 automation as a key pre-condition for TaaS, particularly on city-to-city routes, where the need to move cars without any occupants is less important.

Witness the transformation

The disruption of the transportation sector by robotaxis and TaaS is inevitable. In common with other technology-driven disruptions, the shift to TaaS will be non linear and follow an S-curve, where TaaS will become progressively cheaper and improve its functionality, while combustion vehicles become ever more expensive to operate and harder to use. 

Learn more about the disruption and transformation of the transportation industry.

Published on: 12/07/23

Continue exploring Transport

Sign up to our Newsletter