Transportation


How ride-sharing can improve traffic, save money, and help the environment

MIT News

Traffic is not just a nuisance for drivers: It's also a public health hazard and bad news for the economy. Transportation studies put the annual cost of congestion at $160 billion, which includes 7 billion hours of time lost to sitting in traffic and an extra 3 billion gallons of fuel burned. One way to improve traffic is through ride-sharing -- and a new MIT study suggests that using carpooling options from companies like Uber and Lyft could reduce the number of vehicles on the road by a factor of three without significantly impacting travel time. Led by Professor Daniela Rus, director of MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), researchers developed an algorithm that found 3,000 four-passenger cars could serve 98 percent of taxi demand in New York City, with an average wait-time of only 2.7 minutes. "Instead of transporting people one at a time, drivers could transport two to four people at once, resulting in fewer trips, in less time, to make the same amount of money," says Rus. "A system like this could allow drivers to work shorter shifts, while also creating less traffic, cleaner air, and shorter, less stressful commutes."


MIT study claims all New York cabs could be replaced with carpool vehicles

Daily Mail

A new study has claimed only 3,000 four-passenger cars are needed to meet New York City's taxi demand. MIT developed an algorithm that suggest app-based carpool services, such as Lyft and Uber, could replaces the Big Apple's 14,000 taxis, with an average wait time of just 2.7 minutes. It was also found that the number of vehicles on the road would be reduced by 75 percent, which would also cut pollution and traffic by 300 percent. What makes MIT's system so unique is that it allows requests that would come in through an app, like Uber's, to be rematched to different vehicles, which allows resources to be used wisely MIT's new algorithm finds New York City only needs 3,000 four-passenger cars to meet the taxi demands - if they are all used for carpooling. The system allows requests to be rematched to different vehicles, which allows resources to be used wisely.


Uber and Lyft carpools could one day replace most New York City taxis

#artificialintelligence

Like most cities around the world, New York City suffers from horrendous traffic. A new MIT study suggests that UberPool and Lyft Line (the two apps' carpool features that allow strangers to share a ride for a reduced fare) could be the key to cutting down on urban congestion. If New Yorkers switched from private taxis to carpools, traffic would decrease dramatically, according to the researchers. Using data from 3 million taxi rides, they designed an AI algorithm that would both reduce congestion and wait time for the vehicles. The researchers used taxi ride data to understand how New Yorkers move by car (Just 23% of Manhattan households own personal cars).


Uber and Lyft carpools could one day replace most New York City taxis

#artificialintelligence

Like most cities around the world, New York City suffers from horrendous traffic. A new MIT study suggests that UberPool and Lyft Line (the two apps' carpool features that allow strangers to share a ride for a reduced fare) could be the key to cutting down on urban congestion. If New Yorkers switched from private taxis to carpools, traffic would decrease by dramatically, according to the researchers. Using data from 3 million taxi rides, they designed an AI algorithm that would both reduce congestion and wait time for the vehicles. The researchers used taxi ride data to understand how New Yorkers move by car (Just 23% of Manhattan households own personal cars).


How driverless cars will change car ownership forever

Mashable

They've reached market saturation -- the technology is as commonplace as cruise control is today. The rise of self-driving cars leads to a host of questions, of course, but for the moment let's focus on just one: Will you still be able own a car? Would you even want to? I mean, why buy when you can take an autonomous pod everywhere for far less? SEE ALSO: Really, you don't want a steering wheel in your self-driving car Thing is, the answer to that question isn't a simple yes or no.


GM, Lyft to Test Self-Driving Electric Taxis

#artificialintelligence

General Motors Co. GM 0.32 % and Lyft Inc. within a year will begin testing a fleet of self-driving Chevrolet Bolt electric taxis on public roads, a move central to the companies' joint efforts to challenge Silicon Valley giants in the battle to reshape the auto industry. The plan is being hatched a few months after GM invested 500 million in Lyft, a ride-hailing company whose services rival Uber Technologies Inc. The program will rely on technology being acquired as part of GM's separate 1 billion planned purchase of San Francisco-based Cruise Automation Inc., a developer of autonomous-driving technology. Details of the autonomous-taxi testing program are still being worked out, according to a Lyft executive, but it will include customers in a yet-to-be disclosed city. Customers will have the opportunity to opt in or out of the pilot when hailing a Lyft car from the company's mobile app.


Uber joins race for driverless cars

BBC News

US car-hailing company Uber has joined the race for driverless car technology, confirming it is testing a vehicle on the streets of Pittsburgh. The company said in a statement it had outfitted a Ford Fusion with radar, laser scanners and cameras. Uber's project is being carried out in partnership with Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University. More and more car and technology firms are partnering up to develop self-driving vehicles. Aside from pioneer Google, companies like Tesla are also developing the technology, while Chinese car and tech firms have also made significant progress.


Uber reveals Ford Fusion self driving cars are being tested in Pittsburgh

Daily Mail

Google's self-driving car may own the streets on the west coast, but Uber has staked its claim on the east. The ride-sharing pioneer announced it will begin testing autonomous vehicles around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the next coming weeks. The hybrid Ford Fusions, complete with Uber logos, will soon be seen mapping Steel City and testing its self-driving capabilities on public streets. Uber announced that in the next coming weeks it will be testing autonomous vehicles around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in a car that'should be driven by a superhero'. Uber will be testing autonomous vehicles around Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the next coming weeks.


GM finishes buying self-driving car tech firm

USATODAY

General Motors has completed its acquisition of Cruise Automation, the 3-year-old San Francisco startup that may provide a critical piece of technology in the quest to bring a fully autonomous car to market soon. Under terms of GM's acquisition, Cruise will operate from San Francisco; cofounder Vogt will report to GM's recently formed autonomous vehicle development team led by Doug Parks, GM vice president of autonomous technology. In January, GM announced it is investing 500 million in ride-sharing service Lyft, which also is based in San Francisco. Last week, a Lyft executive, Taggart Matthiesen, said GM and Lyft would begin testing a small fleet of fully autonomous vehicles that could be the new Chevrolet Bolt, in the latter's ride-sharing services in one city that Matthiesen did not identify.


Apple's bet on Uber's Chinese rival makes plenty of sense

Engadget

With over 1.7 billion people calling the country home, Apple obviously thinks the figure has more room to grow, and this deal can help spur that expansion. By investing in a local giant (that's going to be fighting Uber for years to come) Apple ingratiates itself to government officials, important local business people and the population as a whole. According to a report from The Information, Kalanick had planned a meeting at Apple headquarters this week to discuss "future partnership opportunities." Obviously Didi's taxis aren't autonomous yet -- although tech giant LeEco thinks it's getting close -- but they could nonetheless gather valuable data for Apple.