In a couple of decades, self-driving cars will make up 3 quarters of the vehicles on the road, as per experts. Top companies such as Google, Tesla Motors, and Mercedes-Benz, amongst many others, plan to launch self-driving cars by 2020.
Self-driving cars are needed!
Did you know that transportation accounts for about 26% of total US greenhouse gas emissions? The problem is increasing at an alarming rate, and smart cars can definitely reduce that to a certain extent. The assumption is that by eliminating congestion, driving will be more efficient, thus reducing carbon emissions. These cars are integrated with image-capturing technologies thus letting the vehicle scan the surrounding environment to make good driving decisions, which seems to be the main focus of the production of these vehicles.
How can intelligent cars make driving greener?
Though the focus doesn’t seem to be too environmental as of now, car manufacturers are working hard to ensure it happens. The vehicles have sophisticated sensors and software to enhance efficiency, traffic data to obtain the best route, and can minimize extra driving when looking for parking. These aspects aid in improving fuel economy, thereby eradicating extra emissions that are caused due to inefficiency.
What do the numbers say?
In addition, these cars would shift away from individual car ownership to shared transport, reducing the number of wheels out on the road. Driving in a tight formation could reduce energy consumption up to 25%, but surprisingly, reducing congestion is predicted to only cut up to 4% of energy use. The US Department of Transportation says that 94% of road accidents are due to human errors. Incorporating driverless technology could lower deaths and injuries that occur every year. As mentioned above, carbon emissions also depend on the demand for this type of travel. Although energy efficiency will be improved and carbon emissions of individual vehicles reduced, the overall impact and bigger picture depends on how many people will use them.
Making life easier and smoother
Self-driving cars offer convenience and privacy – two of the commonly coveted aspects in fast-paced lives that people today. In addition, the vehicles provide the ability to concentrate on other things such as reading or getting work done along the way. This is so appealing that experts predict driverless cars could increase car travel by up to 60% in the United States.
There is a still a long way to go, as the technology is to be perfected, and we also need to develop proper care protocols in order to make these cars withstand external elements like weather and prolong the lifespan at the same time.