NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, April 15, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — Several firms have invested in autonomous fleet operations where they either lease or hire autonomous vehicles. Who are autonomous fleet operators? Sunil Jagani, of AllianceTek answers that question. They are either individuals or firms that operate and manage a fleet of autonomous vehicles or cars. Autonomous cars despite having several setbacks are gaining popularity. There have been success stories of Autonomous Driving (AD) vehicles that could be a big boost in transforming road mobility. At the same time, there is every likelihood it will increase road safety and decrease obvious accidents that are as a result of human negligence. Several companies are investing in the AV’s after realizing the huge potential therein. However, there are still some hurdles to navigate through. Apart from technological challenges, the willingness of consumers to embrace the technology and the regulatory processes that are required could derail the adoption.
According to a survey by McKinsey on 1000 people in Europe, the USA, and China, it showed that around 60% of those interviewed from each region would embrace the AD technology or brands. China leads with 81% on preference to vehicles with AD features going by future mobility survey of 2019.
The AD’s are classified into five different categories,
Level 1: it is fitted with Artificial Intelligence (AI) cruise control. However, it still needs a driver’s presence.
Level 2: even though the driver is on the steering wheel, at this level both the speed and the steering are automatically controlled.
Level 3: the vehicle can drive itself though with some limitations. However, a driver is still needed inside in case the road conditions demand so.
Level 4: they are capable of driving themselves without human interference.
Level 5: otherwise known as the fully automated vehicle. They will be able to use all roads regardless of their conditions without any human assistance. What this means is that they will be no need for pedals or steering wheels.
The Future of Robotaxi
Sunil Jagani says that the Robotaxi is no longer the future, the autonomous Robotaxi is here with us. An Amazon.com Incorporation startup Zoox has released a full autonomous Robotaxi. It has no steering wheel and can run for 24 hours after a full charge. It can carry four passengers. It runs a maximum of 75 mph and can travel in any direction because it has two motors on both ends. The startup is in the process of launching an application that will enable customers to book online. The CEO of the firm Aicha Evans said that they had a long-term plan to introduce the Robotaxi in other countries. Several other firms have also invested in the fully autonomous Robotaxi venture. Most of them are testing the taxis on public roads. Some of these firms include, General Motors and Alphabet incorporation. Already Waymo a unit of Alphabet Inc. is operating a Robotaxi service in phoenix, USA. Cruise LLC under General motors recently tested its fleet of electric Robotaxis in San Francisco. Even though the future of Robotaxi looked so promising we cannot ignore the impact of covid 19 worldwide. Many firms have either scaled down their operations, staff or even closed down. It might take a while to see fleets of autonomous vehicles on the road owing to the costs involved in manufacturing one autonomous car.
Will Individuals Own and Run Fleets of Autonomous Vehicles?
Yes and no. Yes, however, it will be in the future. First, there needs to be legislation that is conducive and will regulate owning and managing fleets of autonomous vehicles. As it stands now there is no clear legislation. Another aspect that may see the delay in individual ownership of autonomous vehicles is the cost factor. The pandemic has brought the world economy to its knees. All resources now are directed to Covid-19 vaccination. What this means is that firms are directing their resources into fighting the pandemic. Even where firms are not fighting the pandemic they have slowed down operations or have even closed down. Therefore, it might take a while before the companies that had started the AD projects to complete them. With the pandemic here with us, many people will prefer personal cars over autonomous Robotaxis. In 2019, Elon Musk, the CEO of TESLA had projected that they would have one million Robotaxis by 2020. Come the year 2020, and nothing was forthcoming. It is now not possible to say exactly when this project will be completed. If multinational corporations cannot be able to own sufficient fleets, will an individual be able to own them as of now? No, and if so, maybe it will be in the future. Even if an individual has the resources to afford the autonomous Robotaxis, where will they get them? The priority of the Automakers now is preserving cash for the generation of more revenue to maintain their plants and not producing more Robotaxis, this is according to Michelle Krebes, the chief analyst of Cox auto motives.
Doordash, Uber, AirBnB, Robotaxis
Even though many fleet operators are counting on autonomous vehicles to make profits, there are a lot of logistics to be considered. Many taxi businesses have suffered huge losses, especially during the covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, the total loss for the firms stood at $3.8 billion that is according to IPO filing reports. The trend might not change either even with the emergence of Robotaxis. The fare-hailing firms hope that the driverless cars would cut the operational costs by a huge percentage. However, the costs may still be higher than using a personal car. Research by MIT shows how it will not be able to make more money with Robotaxis until several improvements are done. Research done in San Francisco showed that operating an autonomous vehicle costs between $1.8 to $6.01 each mile. Whereas a personal car, uses approximately $0.4 or less per mile. Another factor is that Uber averagely pays $2 per mile when compared to the driverless vehicle which is more expensive. To maximize profits or make a stream of income, serious improvements of almost 100% should be done.
Yes, the above platforms can be able to provide streams of income to people but most likely in the future, especially when dealing with Robotaxis. The reason being, the world today is facing an invincible enemy that requires mobilization of all resources to overcome. Some generations may not be there to witness the mass production of these driverless cars.
We will talk of a viable investment in autonomous vehicles once we defeat or contain the pandemic. Even if we find a cure today, it will take some years for the economy to stabilize again. It could be a good and profitable venture but still in the future. For more information, visit www.alliancetek.com
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April 15, 2021, 18:57 GMT
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