At CES this year, Bosch finally showed something that frankly should have led the self-driving car conversation from the start: an autonomous public transit shuttle. I’ve long been of the opinion that if self-driving vehicles can gain traction anywhere, it will be for public transport.
Firstly, public transport is routine and on set routes, so AI drivers could be trained easily to handle this. In fact, I know this is true — I was living in Dubai when it launched the world’s first autonomous subway system. Those trains drive themselves with incredible accuracy and ease.
Secondly, public transport is a loss maker, so it’s the perfect place to implement some efficiencies. I doubt it would ever turn a profit, but public services shouldn’t be measured by profit motives. Regardless, there are clear gains to be made and thus motivation to invest.