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Robotic Taxis Cost Twice As Much Per Mile As Taxis With Person Driving - MIT Study Shows


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By Ashley Nunes and Kristen D Hernandez
May 10, 2019

MIT Study: Autonomous Vehicles and Public Health: High Cost or High Opportunity Cost?

What the authors of the study discovered is that the cost per mile of a "person" driven taxi is a low 72 cents, whereas the costs associated with autonomous/robotic taxis combined with the average utilization rate (around 50%) of today's taxi fleet means SiliCon Valley's disrupting taxis are likely to cost not the established 72 cents per mile but between $1.58 and $6.01 per mile along with the elimination of a traditional job, ruining peoples lives.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

MIT Study Summary
From Anton Wahlman
Auto Insight For Wall St.

• It's been an article of investor faith in Lyft, Uber and Tesla that driverless robotaxis will be less expensive than human-driven ones. Otherwise, what’s the point?

• Now comes a study from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) showing that driverless robotaxis could cost anywhere between twice and eight times per mile.

• Unlike other studies, MIT doesn’t just subtract the driver’s salary, but it also adds all the additional costs required for driverless robotaxi operation.

• It turns out that those costs are a lot higher, according to MIT. As a result, the net effect becomes that the robotaxi is much more expensive than the human driver.

• If this study is correct, then this will likely deflate the valuations of the companies most tied to robotaxi hopes: Lyft, Uber and Tesla.