The future of driving lies in autonomous driving. While self-driving cars are not here with us yet, the financial investments made by all the major OEMs points to the importance of this new technology. One OEM set aside $1.0 billion dollars to open a research institute in Silicon Valley, aimed at doing research on autonomous driving and advanced robotics, for example. There must be something that makes these vehicles such a massive investment. This article will focus on six advantages of self-driving vehicles.
Benefits of self-driving vehicles
Less parking space
Parking creates massive congestion in cities. Autonomous vehicles will just drop the passengers and go. No need for parking. The vehicles could park at home, outside the city or even in a stack of driverless cars (minimal parking space). It will be easier to navigate within cities since two lanes will not be taken up by street parking.
We have seen how well modern companies have created the culture of shared ownership using mobile applications to help users order for taxi services from drivers who use the company’s platform but who own the vehicles. With self-driving cars, several people could co-own one self-driving car. This equals less cost on their end, less traffic, and less carbon footprint.
Very many people die in road accidents every year. In the U.S., the number of individuals who succumb to road carnage is equal to the entire population of Butte, Montana, over 32000 people. The number of individuals who get injured is equal to the people of North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as Wyoming combined – over 2.3 million inhabitants. Autonomous vehicles will help in reducing these figures significantly. The vehicles will be able to read the environment they are in and not move at full speed when it is not safe or necessary. At least 90% of the accidents on our roads today are as a result of an element of human error. There are some measures in place to promote vehicle safety, but autonomous vehicle make them more safer. These vehicles will also be safer regarding fewer auto thefts. The car will not budge if you do not have permission to command it.
An opportunity for new designs
Self-driving cars are a grand opportunity to build designs that can transform the lives of people living with a disability, and the elderly, as well as their caregivers. For instance, one startup has been very keen in listening to the needs of people with visual impairment and are working towards providing a workable solution for them. If they are to leverage on autonomous driving, they could easily come up with a design that best suits their needs. A good example is including floor space for their service dogs and an app to work with the self-driving vehicle.
As aforementioned, with autonomous driving, we will need very little parking space. We will also require fewer roads and throughways. There will be no need for road expansion or new throughways.
Better road efficiency
The number of vehicles per lane per unit time past a point will be higher. The self-driving vehicles will be able to drive closer together. We could also remove traffic lights to get rid of bottlenecks on the roads.
The above advantages of self-driving vehicles make the future exciting: less parking stress and congestion, safety, less traffic, fewer accidents, and more highly efficient designs. Things can only get better.