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Solving The Vexing Problem That Autonomous Cars Are Going To Look Alike

A veritable sea of yellow cabs.

It used to be that if you booked a yellow cab for picking you up at a busy airport or similar venue, the odds were that a slew of other yellow cabs was also vying for picking up passengers there too. As such, you would have a tough time trying to figure out which among the multitudes of yellow cabs was the one designated just for you.

The cabs sometimes had a number displayed on the outside of the vehicle, and in theory, you could then spot your particular yellow cab, but possessing the number was one tricky aspect and the other was the arduous difficulty of trying to clearly see the number among the blur of so many cabs.

There was pretty much little point in reserving a cab beforehand and instead, it seemed wiser to take a chance at randomly hailing a cab.

Today’s world is a sea change, as it were.

When you wait for today’s Uber or Lyft ridesharing pick-ups, you are informed via your mobile app that the car is a specific make, model, and color, along with getting a heads-up about the driver of the vehicle. Plus, since the drivers are all driving their own cars, there is inherently a diversity in the make, models, and colors of the cars.

It’s usually relatively easy to identify the reserved ridesharing car that is intending to be your ride.

Here’s a bit of a twist in the future.

The expectation is that by-and-large self-driving cars will all look alike, at least concerning a specific make, model, and possibly even color.

When you hail a self-driving car to come to pick you up from a crowded venue like a baseball game or an airport, the odds are that hundreds or maybe thousands of similar-looking driverless cars will all be vying to pick-up passengers at the same time and in the same place.

In a sense, it will be a rebirth of the indistinguishable yellow cab era.

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