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A Richmond & Twickenham Taxi.. Without A Driver?

Apr 24, 2019

Richmond Train Station on a Friday evening commute home, it's raining (again) and you don't want to get wet so you order a Taxi. Shortly after, you get a notification on your app that your Taxi has arrived, you see the car, approach it and jump in. You are about to say hello to the driver... but there isn't one? The Taxi is driverless and now the AI-driven vehicle is about to take you home. How do you feel? Excited? Nervous? Confused?

Well, just yesterday Elon Musk announced that he is launching a driverless taxi service in 2020. Whilst it isn't going to take you from Twickenham to Richmond anytime soon we wanted to hear your thoughts on this.

This driverless Taxi concept on paper is genius. In reality, not so much. Here are a few quick thoughts on it.

Taxi drivers have been in London for hundreds of years. The Hackney Carriage license was put in place before the Great Fire of London and has evolved from Horse and Cart to Black Cabs, Mini Cabs and now... robots? 

Safety is an obvious issue. Whilst we all praise Elon for bringing the low impact Tesla to life and for working on Space X which could see us travelling to China in under an hour we aren't sure about a robot tackling the rush hour in Piccadilly or making its way around the M25 en route to Gatwick Airport in the thick fog or heavy rain. Would you feel safe?

As a TFL Licensed Private Hire/ Taxi Company, Ridesmiths and all other taxi and minicab companies in London have already had to deal with Uber and the effect they have had on the industry (we won't cover that today). We can only imagine the effect a driverless taxi would have on the tens of thousands of Taxi and Minicab drivers that live and work in London.

Aside from taking human jobs away, this could also allow another Hi-tech business to form an almost instant monopoly and that could have a huge impact on London's economy (we will localise for now). Facebook, Google, Amazon and Uber etc do all have another thing in common... Paying Tax (or lack of it) will the Tesla Taxi gang follow suit? Probably so.

Ridesmiths aren't sweating just yet though, we have a secret weapon that artificial intelligence and Elon's brilliant mind cannot fight against. Personal Service, the foundation of our business.

This was just a blurb but we really do want to hear from you guys and your thoughts so drop us a note here or next time you order a Taxi from Ridesmiths then feel free to air your thoughts with your human driver and they will be passed on to us.



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