Uber as a company continues to grow, however, primarily adding robot employees. The taxi service has made quite a few headlines since the start. Many people, especially taxi companies and drivers, have long been angered by the rapid growth of Uber. When they announced that they are heavily investing in autonomous cars, potentially outing human drivers in the future, a landslide of complaints was voiced around the world. Automation is not always the answer to profitability, however, for Uber it could potentially make the company even more profitable. Until they have completed work on their autonomous taxis they are stuck with their car inspection lots. To lower costs, Uber has taken automation even one step further by hiring robot security guards to patrol their large car lots.
The robot guards named K5, are developed by Knighscope, and they come in pairs. Why? While one of the robot guards are patrolling the grounds, the other one recharges. Once the patrolling guard is starting to run out of batteries they smoothly switch. This to make sure the grounds are secure 24/7.
The k5 robot security guards are 300-pound heavy Dalek-looking robots basically consisting of sensors, cameras, and speakers. They cost around $7.00 per hour to operate and don’t complain about working hours. All data is streamed to a human watcher to make sure everything is in order should the robot fail to detect something.
The robot guards can also read license plates, which honestly make them more of caretakers of the ground rather than guards. Whether Uber will continue to use these robot security guards once their autonomous cars are put into action, I don’t know. Either way, hopefully, Uber won’t ask Knightscope to implement artificial intelligence into these funny-looking robots. That could spell disaster as mentioned by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
Do you think it’s wise for Uber to switch to autonomous vehicles and robot guards? What’s your opinion? Let us know in the comment section below.