10 Signs That Autonomous Vehicles Are The Future

Autonomous Vehicles Are The Future

If you have seen Star Wars or any other sci-fi movie, you have seen the depiction of flying cars as a norm for these futuristic societies. The question is, could that happen? Possibly, with autonomous vehicles now commercially available, there are still numerous roadblocks for this project.

To be realistic, though, we have to look forward to autonomous vehicles (AVs); they are rising in news trends these days! The technology itself is nascent and in its early developmental stages but improved with each passing day. Like Tesla and Uber, some companies have even started experimenting with their “driver-less” vehicles models. And given the investment in this project, it is highly likely that we will have our first fully autonomous vehicle soon!

It might sound like an empty claim. After all, we were supposed to have flying cars by now. However, it is based on factual data and industry research from multiple automotive giants, like Tesla, who have projections for such a vehicle. So let’s take a more detailed look at the ways autonomous vehicles will improve our future, making them a necessity!

1. They Will Significantly Reduce Fatal Accidents

One of the main reasons for tech giants investing in autonomous vehicle technology is to eradicate fatal accidents and accidents in general completely. According to governmental data, 94% of crashes happen because of driver error. This statistic becomes a major concern when the rate at which the global human population increases is taken into account. The potential here for AVs is noteworthy because they will reduce deaths and injuries from car collisions. The estimate is AVs will reduce deaths by 90% and save roughly 30,000 lives a year!

2. They will Reduce Unnecessary Traffic Jams

A report by the American Society of Civil Engineers suggests people spend about 6.9 billion hours, on average or more, in traffic in a single year. Now, the experiments done by the University of Illinois suggest that only tweaking traffic behavior by 5% in AVs is going to eliminate a phenomenon called “phantom traffic jams completely.” Humans routinely create stop-and-go traffic patterns, even without hazards, accidents, construction work, detours, bottlenecks, lane changes, and merges.

The University of Illinois researchers controlled the pace of AVs and were successfully able to smooth out the traffic flow. What’s more, roughly 25% of congestion happens because of traffic incidents such as accidents. BY reducing those numbers, we are already looking at a 30% decrease in current traffic congestion patterns!

3. They will Eliminate CO2 Emissions

Once we have reduced traffic congestion, emissions will automatically drop. That is significant in the whole global warming scenario. The idea is that since AI will do the driving, AVs could potentially be programmed to reduce emissions to their maximum extent. A report from Ohio university states that the number could well be over 60%.

4. Improved Highway Lane Capacity

Another benefit of having less congestion resulting in highway lanes will open up. The logic behind this is that AVs will operate at a higher functionality, especially in terms of reaction times. This change means the distance between cars will reduce but still maintain safety standards. That also means that there will be no delay at intersections and signals because of driver behavior.

A report from SSTI corroborates this point. The report suggests that the highway capacity could be increased by “hundred percent” and increase travel speeds by “twenty percent.” An even more impactful estimate has it at 8,000 vehicles/hr at 60 mph and 10,000 vehicles/hr at 80 mph.

5. AVs will Significantly Reduce Fuel Consumption

Because AVs will accelerate and decelerate much more smoothly than a human driver, they’re projected to significantly reduce fuel consumption, improving it by at least 10%, according to some estimates. This case does not include reductions from reduced distances between vehicles and increased highway capacity.

It’s like a fleet of closely-spaced and monitored AVs like a train that runs smoothly without any delays and disruptions in its schedule. A platoon of AVs will give lower peak speeds, improving fuel economy but higher acceleration speeds, improving overall travel times. Over time, the fuel economy could further be improved by eliminating car crashes as the vehicles will no longer need heavier materials for their builds!

6. They will Greatly Improve First and Last Mile Services

AVs are well-positioned to tackle the first and last mile problem by greatly supplementing public transport, especially in larger metropolitan areas. They can essentially connect computers to public transportation, provide adequate support to larger cities, and build on the infrastructure to support their residents’ needs.

7. They will Provide Easy Access to Transportation for Seniors/Disabled Citizens

One major concern when it comes to driving is considering the needs of senior citizens and people who are disabled (war veterans as an example). According to USDOT, most senior citizens do not currently drive and rely on services like Uber or get their family members to assist them. AVs could give them more freedom and independence in their daily tasks where they don’t have to rely on someone else and can enjoy driving again!

8. AVs are going to reduce the Cost of Travel and make it Less Time Consuming

KPMG recently put out a report where it crunched out some mind-boggling numbers. According to this report, AVs will directly influence and greatly reduce travel time, going up to 40 percent. They will further help recover up to 80 billion hours lost due to traffic congestion and heavy traffic. The cost and time-saving potentials are worth roughly $1.3 trillion in terms of money. It does not include other potential benefits, such as reducing human resources and the need for law enforcement regarding traffic rules and regulations.

9. AVs are going to improve the Established Cab Services

Companies like Uber have already started investing in AVs, primarily because it’s a win-win for both the company and its clients. AVs mean no human error, practically zero accidents, no customer complaints, and considerably less travel time. 

It also means reduced gas prices. A report from Ohio University states that the average waiting time for a cab will come down from 5 minutes to a meager 36 seconds. The report further adds that the cost will also be reduced to just $0.5 per mile. This shift also means we can finally have reduced taxes because of safer driving conditions and reduced costs for road maintenance.

10. They will Conserve Parking Spaces for Everyone

How many times have you looked for a parking space and found none? Current infrastructure makes it nearly impossible to find a parking space during rush hours. AVs will eliminate all that hassle by conserving parking spaces by parking closely together. According to an estimate, some cities, like Ney York, devote roughly one-third of their land resources towards creating parking lots.

AVs will drop the passenger at their destination and then look for a parking space nearby, eliminating the need for creating extra parking spaces.

Final Thoughts

No matter which way you look at it, AVs are the future. There are plenty of benefits for them not to be. Big tech companies like Google, Uber, and Tesla have already invested billions of dollars in developing this technology to make it safer and more affordable. AVs are being developed to be environmentally friendly by reducing emission costs, eliminating driver error and traffic accidents, reducing congestion, and improving travel time management.

They will be an incredible asset for the future of driving and will revolutionize the driving industry. So let’s work together towards this goal of making our roads safer!

Article Submitted By Community Writer

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