Technology is constantly changing and upgrading. Its aim is to improve the quality of life and the way people live. Transport is a huge part of everyone’s life, so the world is moving closer towards transportation systems driven by autonomous vehicles to help improve our travel experience. An autonomous vehicle can drive itself safely from a starting point to a destination that is predetermined by the passenger. In-vehicle sensors and technologies are used when the vehicle is in ‘autopilot’ mode and they are designed to improve the safety and experience of the passenger. Putting our trust into these driverless cars can make some people feel uneasy; however, there are many benefits of autonomous vehicles and today, we will be taking a closer look at some of them.
Reduces Accident Risks
The majority of fatal car accidents occur due to human error. A fantastic benefit of autonomous vehicles on the road is that they reduce the risk of injury or death due to a collision that required the driver to take action. Driver distraction will no longer be an issue, so car crashes will be reduced. It has been estimated that driverless cars will reduce the number of traffic deaths by up to 90%, which will save approximately 30,000 lives each year. This is a significant number and a huge benefit of this technology.
Less Traffic Congestion
People spend a huge number of hours sat in traffic each year. This can be reduced by increasing the number of autonomous vehicles on the streets. Self-driving cars will be carefully controlled and automated, which will help to eliminate waves of stop-and-go traffic that is triggered by human drivers. Automated vehicles will also decrease lane changes, merges and other disruptions. Controlling the pace of driverless cars will lead to a smooth traffic flow for all the vehicles on the road.
Decreases CO₂ Emissions
With less traffic on the road, the use of autonomous vehicles will decrease the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released each day. Vehicles that require fuel to function release a large number of harmful chemicals that can alter the environment and have dangerous side effects on people. Modern cars can now be programmed to reduce the volume of emissions that they release by altering the performance of the vehicle. As we transition to driverless cars, emissions are expected to fall by 60%.
Lowers Fuel Consumption
As well as cutting the emissions, less traffic combined with AV technology will lower the volume of fuel a vehicle needs to consume. Driverless cars will have smoother acceleration and deceleration compared to cars driven by humans, which will reduce the amount of fuel the car requires to move. Other improvements such as increased roadway capacity and reduced distance between vehicles on the road can also lower fuel consumption. Autonomous vehicles also have the option to go electric.
Cuts Travel Time
Less congestion and reduced fuel consumption mean that autonomous vehicles may cut travel time by almost half. This means people will be saving time and money, which are extremely important in today’s society. People will also have the opportunity to be more productive during their journeys, as they don’t have to focus solely on the road ahead. Driver convictions will also decrease because people won’t be able to or feel like they need to drive over the speed limit and commit other traffic violations.
Increases Lane Capacity
Research shows that highway capacity and expressway travel speeds will increase when there are more driverless vehicles on the road. In order to achieve increased lane capacity, autonomous cars will need to be able to continuously monitor surrounding traffic and will have to respond with exceptionally accurate acceleration and braking to other vehicles, objects and pedestrians in their path. Once this has been achieved, lane capacity could be increased by up to 500%, which is huge.
Improves Transportation Independence
Many seniors and people who have disabilities may find it difficult to drive and be safe on the road. There are vehicle modifications that can make driving simpler for these individuals, but the safety of this person and others may still be a major concern. A significant benefit of autonomous vehicles is that they will help to improve independence when it comes to transportation. When a car drives itself, going to and from work, seeing a doctor and visiting friends and family will become easier and safer.
Cost Effective Taxis
Choosing a self-driving taxi will be more affordable and effective for those who need transport and do not own their own vehicle. Autonomous taxis will be much cheaper because the taxi company will not have to pay the wages of a driver, the car will consume less fuel, and they will be able to transport more people in a shorter amount of time due to increased lane capacity on the roads. The waiting time for a cab will be lower for passengers and the journeys will be safer, faster and more enjoyable.
More Efficient Parking
Finding a parking space for your car can be a long and frustrating process, especially if cars have been parked poorly. However, an autonomous vehicle will know how to park itself. As long as there was a parking space available, a driverless car will be able to park at the location it dropped you to, or in a nearby location where there was a free space. This can cut down on the land needed for parking and reduce the cost of real estate. The limits and benefits are truly endless when it comes to self-driving cars. To learn more about the future of autonomous vehicles, click here.
Cars that offer driver assistance are already a part of everyday life and they are becoming more popular as the public becomes more comfortable with this new way of life. The next step is going driverless, and even though autonomous vehicles can be a scary concept, they offer many benefits that will play a vital role in the future of transportation, including costs, environmental impact and safety.