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Mon, 13th Jul 2015

RoboCabs: the key to curbing emissions?

Taxi (c) Emanuele

How does being driven around in a robotic taxi grab you? Currently, cars contribute 13% to our greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. However, a new study has found that were we to switch to using a fleet of electrified, autonomous taxis - dubbed “robocabs” - we could reduce our emissions to next to nothing.Graihagh Jackson debated the merits of these self driving vehicles with the author of the study, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Jeffrey Greenblatt...

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....as long as they are powered by wind, wave, or something else that doesn't actually work when you need it. Merely shifting emissions from the city centre to the stratosphere by using fossil-fuelled electricity doesn't solve the problem, it just distributes it elsewhere. And it is stratospheric CO2 that causes the alleged problems.

In the event of a collision between a robot and a pedestrian. who is to blame? If you use Asimov's Laws, you can bring all traffic to complete gridlock by standing in the road - passive aggressive terrorism! Not the cab company: they didn't tell the taxi where to go. So the either passenger is liable for any accident, or crossing the road becomes a means of population control.. alancalverd, Tue, 14th Jul 2015

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