Apr 11, 2018
How self-driving cars will change your daily commute
Like it or not, self-driving cars are coming. Automakers across the world are pledging money and research into making their cars autonomous. In fact, by 2020 fully autonomous cars are expected to hit the roads around the world.
Imagine being able to read the newspaper or, my personal favourite, taking a nap while being driven from A to B by, well, nobody. Here’s a closer look at how autonomous vehicles will bring about changes to our lives.
Industry experts are predicting that when autonomous cars become available, car ownership will drop dramatically. As commuters change their traveling habits, people will prefer traveling with autonomous taxis on demand rather than owning and maintaining a car.
Self-driving cars are more cost-effective when used as a shared fleet car. Compared to owning your own car, you won’t need to fret over running costs such as parking and taxes.
As car ownership falls and self-driving cars become more intelligent, the demand for parking spaces will drop drastically, spelling the end of expensive parking facilities occupying prime real estate and opening space to be converted into friendly living areas.
Reduction in carbon waste
Driverless cars use technology to optimise efficiency in operating the car. Every part of driving such as acceleration, braking, and speed control is calculated to help reduce unnecessary energy waste. The introduction of autonomous cars can potentially help bring down carbon emissions by up to 300 million tons per year. That is equal to half of the carbon emissions from the commercial aviation sector!
Goodbye traffic jams. Hello free time.
Well, this is undoubtedly a benefit most of us can get behind. Autonomous cars are likely to cut traffic jams significantly. The average US commuter spend approximately 50 hours stuck in traffic in 2015 idling away thousands of dollars' worth of fuel.
With self-driving cars cutting down traffic congestions, people will spend much shorter time periods on the roads and more time at their destinations. You’ll have more time doing something else instead of being behind the wheel.
Not only will commutes become shorter, but your traveling experience will also be expected to be more comfortable. The interior of your autonomous car will also be more spacious and comfortable. Think of the interior as a mobile lounge rather than a cockpit.
Lives will be saved
Arguably one of the most important benefits, self-driving cars promise is to eliminate most fatalities from road accidents. Experts predict that in theory by the end of the 21st century, tens of millions of traffic fatalities will be prevented all over the world. In fact, they argue that fatalities will drop by up to 90 percent. In the US alone, over 33,000 people are killed by road-related accidents annually.
Self-driving cars will be able to drive longer distances than a human driver, without suffering from fatigue or errors in judgment. Google’s fleet of self-driving cars have driven more than a million kilometres since 2009, and have only encountered 16 accidents, none of which were caused by their own vehicles.
The future of self-driving cars promises to improve our lives in more ways than one. As driving becomes the next thing to be replaced by automation, the future will see human drivers in the same way as we now look at elevator or telephone operators.