CSAIL's Daniela Rus and her team created an algorithm that crunched data from three million New York City taxi rides, calculating routes and schedules for two-person, four-person, and ten-person vehicles. The results showed that 3,000 four-person cabs could help handle 98 percent of the City's demand (with a waiting time of 2.3 minutes), while 3,000 two-person cabs could handle 94 percent and just 2,000 ten-person vehicles could handle 95 percent.I wonder if this study just had the cars gather people and deposit them in the most efficient manner? So if a person had a long trip would a car be routed to them empty? Or would it wait and gather 3 other people before it came to pick the person up?
In any case the idea of empty cars picking people up sounds pretty creepy. I would refuse to ride in a empty taxi fearing that it could be hacked and rerouted to someplace where you can be robbed. I guess that could happen in a regular taxi but you figure you could catch the guy easier then some faceless hacker.