A fleet of self-driving taxis is scheduled to take to the roads in Japan during 2016.
A partnership has been formed between the Japanese government and a company called Robot Taxi. Fifty people will take part in a trial scheme in Kanagawa prefecture. The trips will cover about 3 km and will involve some of the main roads in the city — which is perhaps why human drivers will still be on hand in case they need to take over in an emergency.
It’s all part of Robot Taxi’s aim of getting its driver-less transportation service commercialized by the turn of the decade. “There are a lot of people who say it’s impossible, but I think this will happen faster than people expect,” said government minister Shinjiro Koizumi.
Japan has an aging population and the elderly are in line to be the first to benefit from this self-driving car technology. Vehicles will be able to pick up and drop off citizens long after they’ve become too frail to actually drive themselves — and that can make a huge difference to people who would otherwise be stuck at home all day especially since new laws are being put into place that require senior citizens of 75 years and above to present a document from the doctor that they are fit to drive.
There’s another reason behind the 2020 deadline: the Tokyo Olympic Games. Spectators and even athletes could potentially be ferried around in cars without drivers, summoned with a tap on a smartphone and using advanced sensor equipment (including GPS) to keep tabs on their current location.
Japanese firms are rarely shy in bringing robotic technology to consumers as quickly as possible; this is the country with a hotel staffed exclusively by robots, after all. In a promotional video uploaded by Robot Taxi, an elderly couple gets picked up from their front doorstep and is driven through the countryside.
Source: Science Alert online
It is amazing how fast self-driving technology is developing. Soon there may be no need for a driver.
The Bible has much to say about not living our lives on autopilot.
If anyone could have lived life on autopilot — it would have been Jesus. He was, after all, the Son of God! Yet He said:
(John 5:30) – I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
In our own personal life we need to follow the will and guidance of our Creator God and if a Christian, our Heavenly Father:
(Proverbs 3:5,6) – Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.
Isn’t it wonderful that we can let God guide us but He never just uses us like robots with no choice. We must make the choice to follow His Word and His truths. Are you thankful for His leading you? Do you allow Him to lead you daily –it will bring peace and joy even in the midst of challenging situations.