3000 Ubers Could Replace NYC’s Entire Taxi Fleet

DATE: 02/01/2017
RETRIEVED: 04/01/2017

A new study released Monday by MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) has found that just 3000 ride-share vehicles could do the job of New York City’s roughly 13,500 licensed cabs. While this is a remarkable finding about the potential in ride-sharing, there is a catch—it only works if all the passengers are using the carpool option offered by Uber and Lyft.


This is bad news for NYC’s already embattled taxi drivers, who have spent the last few years fighting Uber’s rapid expansion in the city. But it might also be bad news for the Uber drivers themselves, who are facing obsolescence as Uber rolls out its autonomous vehicles, a program that could be aided by CSAIL’s algorithm. On the flipside, such algorithms could be a boost to the US economy as a whole, which loses an estimated $121 billion annually (about 1 percent of the US GDP) as a result of the 5.5 billion hours people send sitting in traffic (to say nothing of the 2.9 billion gallons of fuel that is also wasted).



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