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Toyota announced that it will launch a task force along with the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations to collaborate on the development of future taxicab technologies, reports Bloomberg.
This announcement follows criticism from the taxi association in the wake of Toyota’s investment in Uber earlier this year.
The task force will focus on, among other aims, gathering and analyzing data from existing and forthcoming fleet vehicles that can be utilized in the development of autonomous cars.Toyota is developing autonomous driving technologies for their future vehicles. The Toyota Research Institute, which is leading much of this development, is utilizing human driver behavior in order to program self-driving cars. The introduction of data from over 200,000 Japanese taxis will aid this endeavor.
Toyota will also work with the taxi association to develop and introduce vehicles that make use of these automated driving technologies. The Japanese federation will be introducing a new generation of taxi models manufactured by Toyota, according to Reuters. The taxi association has fought efforts by Uber to expand into the Japanese market, and, by partnering with Toyota, will seek to match the American ride-hailing company’s move to develop self-driving car technology.
Taxis are just one application for self-driving cars, which will face several struggles and hurdles before they reach mass adoption.
John Greenough, senior research analyst for BI Intelligence, has compiled a detailed report on self-driving cars that examines the major strides automakers and tech companies have made to overcome the barriers currently preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the market. Further, the report examines global survey results showing where fully autonomous cars are highly desired.
Here are some key takeaways from the report:
- Three barriers have been preventing fully autonomous cars from hitting the road: 1) high technological component prices; 2) varying degrees of consumer trust in the technology; and 3) relatively nonexistent regulations. However, in the past six months, there have been many advances in overcoming these barriers.
- Technology has been improving as new market entrants find innovative ways to expand on existing fully autonomous car technology. As a result, the price of the components required for fully autonomous cars has been dropping.
- Consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicle technology has increased in the past two years.
- California became the first US state to propose regulations. California’s regulations stipulate that a fully autonomous car must have a driver behind the wheel at all times, discouraging Google’s and Uber’s idea of a driverless taxi system.
In full, the report:
- Examines consumer trust in fully autonomous vehicles
- Identifies technological advancements that have been made in the industry
- Analyzes the cost of fully autonomous technology and identifies how cost is being reduced
- Explains the current regulations surrounding fully autonomous cars
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