How Safe Is AI? Artificial Intelligence Used In Japan To Predict Taxi Ride Requests

One taxi driver said he had noticed a 20 percent rise in passenger traffic since using the AI prediction system. Photo by BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images In downtown Tokyo, just like in most major cities, taxi drivers make an educated guess as to where they might find their next paying passenger. Years of experience have honed their prediction skills to pinpoint customers depending on location, the time of day and weather. But even with this knowledge, tracking down passengers is still a hit and miss science with many drivers saying they can cruise around for up to two hours without finding a fare. Japan’s biggest mobile phone operator, NTT Docomo, wants to change all that. The phone giant says it is in the process of creating a transportation revolution by perfecting a new taxi passenger pickup system using Artificial Intelligence (AI). This system predicts future taxi demand and directs drivers to high potential locations using AI. The more a taxi drives around, the more its AI system learns by itself. Photo by YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images It does this by splitting the taxi driver’s chosen area of operation into a 500m grid pattern that is displayed on a dashboard fitted iPad-sized tablet.…

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