Top 10 Advantages of Self-Driving Cars
Humanity first came across the term “the electric car” in the 1890s when William Morrison invented a six-passenger vehicle, with a top speed of 14 miles per hour. Humanity made another major milestone in the 1980s with the invention of NavLab, a project by the United States Defence Advanced Research Project Academy. These two inventions marked the beginning of self-driving cars that pushed humanity to the latest models that we have today. Technology has continued to develop and has given us autonomous cars that have shaped the way we think and conduct day-to-day activities. The autonomous car market is projected to be at $60 billion by the year 2030. This clearly shows that self-driving cars are the future no matter how skeptical humanity may be.
Although the concept of self-driving cars has been with us for years, it is only that the concept has attained advanced networking and proper satellite coordination. Tesla is the company that has made this dream a reality by manufacturing several series of Tesla electric vehicles. The company has drawn the attention of other big companies like Hyundai, BMV, and Audi, which are conducting testing for the near future manufacture of similar car models. Self-driving cars have proven to be faster, environmentally friendly, safer, and many more. Even if these cars have many incredible benefits to people, they still pose a safety risk. This blog aims to explain the top benefits of self-driving cars and how they can improve human life.
Reduced Number of Accidents
One of the major challenges facing the transportation industry is accidents. Accidents happen daily and this has contributed to the loss of lives over the years. According to statistics given by policyadvice.net, approximately 3,700 people die in road accidents daily. This is equivalent to 1.35 million per year globally. When such accidents happen, humanity always points fingers at the bad weather, poor roads, and poorly maintained vehicles. These factors play a role in accident occurrences, but according to the top USDOT website, over 94% of all accidents are attributed to human errors.
These human errors can include checking the phones while driving, drunkenness, excessive speeding, lack of driving experience, and others. Adopting self-driving cars reduces accidents by 90% hence saving lives. Self-driving vehicles rely on robotic systems that rarely make mistakes and, therefore, the chances of errors are minimal. Automatic cars do away with manual controls, hence preventing fatalities.
The transport industry is a major cause of environmental pollution. Most of this pollution comes from the burning of fuels by car engines and hence emitting harmful gases into the environment. Carbon dioxide is the primary product of burning fuel and can cause so much harm. Greenhouse gas emission is the leading cause of global warming that affects every aspect of natural climatic conditions. Statistics given by the epa.gov website, an average passenger vehicle emits around 4.5 metric tonnes of CO2 per year.
If this is just one car, what about the rest? It means that the level of CO2 in the environment is unimaginable. The technology of self-driving cars optimizes fuel consumption, hence reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The technology fosters autonomous driving which prevents excessive speeding, repeated braking, and re-accelerating, three factors that also contribute to the emission of carbon dioxide gas, which is a major environmental pollutant. Self-driving cars reduce total emissions by 60%.
Traffic congestion is a problem facing nearly every developed city in the world. This is because cities have many people that depend on transportation to move from one place to another. Moving many people requires many vehicles and requires much time, hence ending in traffic congestion. These vehicles also contribute to greenhouse gas emissions and this explains why most pollution happens in large cities. According to estimates, an average American living in an urban area spends around 7 billion hours in traffic. This means that these people lose around 3.1 billion gallons of fuel because of congestion.
To make things even worse, this results in a loss of about $160 billion each year, money that could foster economic developments. Adopting self-driving cars is a cheaper alternative because the cars have easy access to things like digital maps, real-time and accurate traffic information. Drivers can efficiently use this information to know the best routes to use and therefore avoid traffic. Reducing traffic will help in saving more time and reduce fuel consumption.
Saves More Time
Have you ever felt stranded while trying to reach your workplace on time but you cannot? If yes, you are not alone. Hundreds of people every day go to work late either due to traffic or because of slow-moving cars. In the US, approximately 76% of the population drives alone to work. This means that in case there is traffic or bad weather, a good number of them arrive at work late. In the end, they waste a company’s time that could generate millions of dollars. Thanks to self-driving cars technology because this is no longer considered a problem.
First, unlike traditional cars, autonomous cars move faster and hence save time. This is because the speed limit in these cars can be safely increased, hence shortening the journey routes and saving more time. This means that if a person uses two houses to arrive at work, with an autonomous car, he/she can use one hour or less. How cool is that? In the UK, it is estimated that self-driving cars will reduce travel time by 40%, save workers 80 billion hours lost while commuting and save the UK economy $1.3 trillion.
Saves More Costs
Every individual looks forward to that one factor that will save him/her the costs of living. Over the years, the transport industry has been a major cause of the loss of funds in various ways. Various factors contribute to the loss of money, including accidents, insurance, fuel, and others. Self-driving cars help save these costs and this explains why they have become so popular. Driving a traditional car requires constant fuel which costs a lot of money per year. This car requires constant maintenance and examination, which adds extra costs. If you have car insurance, I am sure you understand that there is no such a cheap insurance company.
What about when you have an accident? You end up in the hospital where you’ll be charged lots of money to get access to proper treatment. Another problem may arise when the insurance cannot compensate the damaged car fully. Adding all these factors results in too much money that you could use to invest. Self-driving cars use less fuel and are fitted with sensors that can tell when an accident is about to happen and escape it. Autonomous cars cut down all these costs, enabling you to save more.
Reliability is a major factor in the transport industry. No one wakes up in the morning only to go get on the way to work. Most of the vehicles we have on the road are not 100% dependable. Dependability comes from an ability of a vehicle to take you to and from work or market without delay regardless of the weather or traffic. Other factors that have affected the reliability of vehicles are poor visibility, driver’s condition, and the environment itself.
Autonomous cars are fitted with sensors that potentially perceive the environment better than humans do. The cars are fitted with smart cameras that see in 360 degrees and can see further ahead. When there is fog or heavy rains, you can rely on self-driving cars because they can detect the obstacle and adjust their mechanisms to suit that moment. Again, these cars don’t require a driving license or driving tests. This means that anyone can use self-driving cars without having to undergo verification by traffic police.
Reduces Transport Costs
Have you ever wondered what makes transport of people and goods from one place to another expensive? Well, the answer is simple: it’s the fuel. This is because these cars rely on fuel to run and this fuel is quite expensive. For owners of these cars to recover the money they use on fuel, they have to charge it from passengers through fare. This fare fluctuates depending on the fuel prices. If the price of fuel is high, the passengers suffer the consequences and therefore pay more. Self-driving cars don’t rely on fuel and therefore it’s hard to hike the prices. Most self-autonomous cabs offer a sharing alternative that most traditional taxis cannot offer.
This means that a driver can carry 2-3 people going to the same destination at once. Carrying them at once saves the energy used to fuel this car, and therefore enables the driver to save more money. If the same driver was to carry each passenger alone, it means that he would make three trips to and from the same destination. This, in return, would cost him more energy and, hence, more money. A traditional taxi takes approximately 5 minutes to reach the clients, which wastes more time. Autonomous cars arrive in just 36 seconds approximately and charge $0.5 cost less per mile.
More Efficient Parking
Parking is a major problem facing car owners partially in big cities. This problem arises from huge congestion and lack of adequate parking spaces. This problem affects big cars mostly, although the smaller ones are never exempted. To help solve this problem, some cities devote a third of their land just for parking. Real estate developers also use their precious spaces just to create parking areas and the most surprising thing is that the space is never enough. Why? This is because as the population continues to grow, the number of cars on the roads continues to increase.
People occupy many places and leave less or none for parking, hence denying car owners an opportunity to park their cars. Thanks to autonomous driving cars because they save you from parking stress. All you need is to arrive at your destination and then a car will look for the space and park itself automatically where the space is available. According to Ohio University research, driverless cars can be parked at 15% less space.
Accessible to Everyone
Most automobile cars make it very difficult for people with disabilities to access them, hence most end up feeling isolated. Today, if a deaf person wants to go to a major town, he/she must require someone for a company. Why? This is because such people may not hear cars hooting or people taking. This exposes such people to many dangers, such as accidents while crossing the road and even theft in town. Thanks to autonomous cars because this problem is gone and forgotten. People living with disabilities, elder adults, and even children can now enjoy the freedom of traveling using autonomous cars.
These cars don’t require a driver and provide the highest form of safety. Because the cars drive automatically, these people don’t have to go through the stress of knowing what route to use, the exact location, or even the speed limit. People with poor vision and mobility problems can now solo move freely using autonomous cars.
Reduced Car Theft
Car theft is still a major threat to car owners. According to research, approximately 133 cars are stolen daily in Britain alone. In 2019, approximately 721, 885 cars were stolen in the US. If these are only two statistics, what about the rest? It means that this number is high in other countries as well. Most cars are stolen because thieves can easily access them. One way in which they do this is by fooling your vehicle into unlocking itself using signals emitted by your key fob.
Self-driving cars can also be hacked because of the computerized system they use. However, installing an anti-hacking system may make it very difficult for anyone to access your car anonymously. These cars are usually very self-aware and you can even set them to recognize your face or voice and this precepts car theft.
Self-driving cars are a major benefit to the transportation industry. Since their introduction, they have tried to solve the transportation problem. They have many advantages which include saving more time, reducing transportation costs, being highly reliable, promoting a clean environment, and many more. There is plenty of debate existing within society about self-driving cars. The major concern is security because self-driving cars can easily be hacked. The cars also require a high initial cost and require an advanced type of infrastructure. Even if there are disadvantages to self-driving cars, we cannot deny the fact that they have more benefits. Therefore, they are indeed the future. Click here to know more about self-driving cars: