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Will a Self-Driving Car be available for ride service by the end of 2018?
partnered with Center for the Study of Existential Risk, Machine Intelligence Research Institute, and The Future of Life Institute
This is a sister question to the other Metaculus Self-Driving Car question, which asked if a commercially available car would be released by 2018. This one will ask if an autonomous vehicle fleet will be in operation for ride sharing, taxi, or shuttling services.
Self-driving car (SDC) fleets are seen as perfect for rideshare business models like those of Lyft or Uber, who have effort in moving toward autonomous technology. This focus on rideshare became more apparent when GM invested $500M in autonomous vehicle fleet for Lyft, and the other dominant figures in autonomous vehicle tech like Google, Tesla, and Ford are developing fleets of their own with speculated intent for ridesharing. Like the sister question, technological maturity, regulation, cost, public policy, and safety are the primary obstacles in bringing fully autonomous vehicles to market.
By January 1st, 2019, will a fleet of autonomous vehicles be used in a ridesharing or hailing-like service?
To resolve positively, there must exist a service in some geographical region available to members of the general public, taking users between two destinations within the region as chosen by the user. There must be at least 50 autonomous vehicles in use in the service, and if the autonomous vehicles are part of a service mixing autonomous and non-autonomous vehicles, rides by autonomous vehicles should make up at least 20% of all rides provided by the overall service within the area served by the autonomous vehicles.
Metaculus help: Predicting
Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.
The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available. With tachyons you'll even be able to go back in time and backdate your prediction to maximize your points.
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Metaculus help: Community Stats
Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.
When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.