Autonomous cars used to be something we only dreamed about, much like jetpacks and robotic butlers. They have come to fruition within the last decade in various stages of assisted technology. Fully autonomous cars have yet to become mainstream due to affordability and continued testing. There are many debates about the advantages and disadvantages of this type of technology. To date, the benefits seem to be significant.
Fewer accidents have occurred with autonomous vehicles at the helm. The reason is that human beings are fallible by nature. They are prone to distraction and emotions. In addition, a human’s reflex capabilities are not as efficient as a machine’s. With spatial technology, automated vehicles can also determine the correct distance to maintain, enabling quicker reaction time if the car ahead stops abruptly or a lane change occurs.
Traffic jams are also decreased when driverless cars are used. There have been multiple studies done on test roads with platooning exercises, displaying how automated cars fall in line with a generous space cushion between them, eliminating the ebb and regular traffic flow. Sensors allow for on-ramp entry of vehicles by making space without impeding traffic flow, in addition to recognizing construction and detours in real-time. Rubbernecking will be a thing of the past because the machine will not have the human curiosity of distraction. Shockwave jams caused by drivers tapping on their breaks and creating a daisy-chain effect will also be obsolete.
Stress-free parking is another way that autonomous vehicles will help improve our daily lives. People can be dropped off and collected at a chosen location while the car seeks out a vacant parking spot in-between. This cuts down on fuel usage and the stress that comes from being late for appointments.
As humans evolve to completely autonomous travel, they will also discover newly-found spare time to get things done, much like train or air travel. This time can be used either for work or family, without the worry of safety along the way.
Safety and accessibility is something that AI-controlled cars can bring to all Americans. There are substantial numbers of elderly and invalided citizens who cannot provide their own means of transportation. For them, automated driving will not only be a life-saver, but it will also add dignity by providing them with a sense of independence and comfort.