Australian authorities have confirmed that the country will ditch its taxi business entirely in favour of autonomous vehicles.
A statement from the Department of Transport confirmed the change.
“As part of the Government’s vision for Australia’s transportation future, we are moving from a taxi-based model to a driverless one,” the statement said.
“In parallel to this, we will be implementing a number of measures to ensure our transport system is safe, reliable and resilient, and that all drivers are properly trained and monitored.”
The announcement comes after a spate of high-profile fatalities involving the vehicles.
In July, a woman was killed after a self-driving Uber car was involved in a crash that killed three people and injured six others in Sydney.
In July of last year, a young woman was involved with a self driving Uber car that hit pedestrians and sent her to hospital.
And in December of last month, two people died after a taxi collided with a train in Melbourne.
The move is expected to save the government money by eliminating the need for taxis, and save the public billions of dollars.
The new system will see drivers operate the vehicles remotely.
The cars will be capable of autonomously turning themselves on to alert passengers if there is a problem with their driver.
The vehicles will be able to carry up to six passengers, with passengers able to choose which one they would like to be a passenger.
There will also be a dedicated passenger side of the vehicle where passengers will be issued with special codes to let them know when the vehicle is ready to start.
The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is also planning to introduce a new form of identification for drivers, one that will include a photo.
Drivers will also have to wear a seatbelt and wear a helmet.
Driverless taxis have also been testing for several years in California, but have been unable to gain acceptance due to high regulatory hurdles.
The company recently tested an autonomous taxi for a single test trip, and has said it expects to roll out an autonomous vehicle system in the next three to five years.
Read more about the Australian Taxion Office here:The move comes just months after Uber revealed it was testing a self -driving Uber that could travel in and out of the city on its own.