Auto Manifesto

January 3, 2008

Advantages of Autonomous Vehicles

Imagine that all obstacles were sufficiently overcome and that autonomous vehicles were a daily reality. What would some of the benefits include? Let’s take a cursory look.

First, there would be huge safety gains. Since most road accidents are due to driver error, assuming 2002 crash rates and miles traveled, if 90% of the 43,005 fatalities were reduced 38,704 lives would be saved. According to this 2002 press release by NHTSA they estimate each highway death costs society about $5.3m. If you multiply the two we could potentially be saving over $205 billion per year. Not only would nearly 40,000 lives be saved, imagine how many millions of injuries a year would be avoided.

Further, from an energy and efficiency standpoint we know that people are not the best drivers either. Having computers drive is going to save tremendous energy. But since vehicles will be networked and traffic flow synchronized, it’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

Driverless cars won’t have to deal with congestion and stop-and-go traffic as we do today. Travel will become faster, more predictable, and passengers will have time to do other things while in transit.

The vehicles will also be much lighter. They won’t need to be designed for surviving impacts with today’s heavy vehicles driven by error prone humans, nor will they need to be equipped with safety devices to protect us from ourselves (e.g. crumple zones, airbags, or even seatbelts).

The cars of tomorrow will be far safer, much lighter, and there will be little to no congestion. If a clear national plan is created and implemented, the future can be very bright indeed.

Labels: , ,

3 Comments:

  • Sorry, but where has any of this information been referenced or accredited by a decent source? The way I see it is, autonomous cars are not as great as you might think, it would take far too long for governments to implement this, and the startup costs to produce these kind of vehicles would be huge, as well as the costs of constructing the intersections.

    Furthermore, I think it would take people a great dealof time before they can put their trust in a vehicle to drive for them without their own judgement and thought.

    I understand that crashes are caused by human error, but by simply removing this element wont remove the death toll, you have to remember that computers are designed by humans, AI is a perception, a word we give technology which has perceived intelligence: Computers don't have free will.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At May 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM  

  • This person who posted above...

    Anonymous,At May 15, 2012 10:49 AM

    You are 100% incorrect. Lets say the article above is describing flight in 1900, how flight is possible, but you are writing about and saying it sounds great but it isn't possible.

    You may not have technical understanding so its probably not best to comment on technical matter like this.



    I do agree behavioural change and acceptance, as well as many institutions , policies, programs will need to be developed, but these are all achievable. We need champions to promote these next level ventures.

    The technology to do this is old, say 1990's, and only improving. Once the marketing for this kicks in and the benefits are realised then people will think why they didn't do it sooner.

    Yes, I am a professional engineer, Government researcher

    By Blogger Unknown, At November 9, 2012 at 4:32 AM  

  • This person who posted above...

    Anonymous,At May 15, 2012 10:49 AM

    You are 100% incorrect. Lets say the article above is describing flight in 1900, how flight is possible, but you are writing about and saying it sounds great but it isn't possible.

    You may not have technical understanding so its probably not best to comment on technical matter like this.



    I do agree behavioural change and acceptance, as well as many institutions , policies, programs will need to be developed, but these are all achievable. We need champions to promote these next level ventures.

    The technology to do this is old, say 1990's, and only improving. Once the marketing for this kicks in and the benefits are realised then people will think why they didn't do it sooner.

    Yes, I am a professional engineer, Government researcher

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At November 9, 2012 at 4:40 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home