Remember the “Johnny Cab” robot cab from the movie Total Recall (1990)? Well, Google really is still trying to launch its own self-driving or robo-car. With all of the recent hubbub from the Google Glass privacy debacle it hasn't exactly been on anyone's radar, but yes, the self-driving Google-mobile is still struggling ahead.
This was reported recently by former Wall Street Journal reporter Amir Efrati after a virtual media silence on the matter, reminding us that the dream hasn't died. So far Google has been stuck with trying to modify existing vehicles to fit their plans although apparently they are still trying to work towards making deals with automotive manufacturers for self-driving software for their robo-cars to be.
Why is Google so intent on this particular plan coming to fruition? According to Efrati, Google is hoping to help design, create and implement a robo-taxi system in the US. The ultimate goal would be not only to replace people-driven cabs as they are now, but to reduce people-driven vehicles overall and to reduce vehicular accidents at the same time. Whether that would be a reality is up in the air.
Of course the “Johnny Cab” would need a human at first, to make sure there were no “bugs” in the system and to see that it was truly safe before just letting it go the road on its own. But apparently after that trial period, the robo-taxis would lose their human pilots and run along on their own. Perhaps once the self-driving car achieves more progress towards its realization the public will find itself more interested in this robo-car development.