Self-Driving Cars Might Make Traffic Worse : DNews

Self-driving cars could turn people off public transportation, increase cars on the road and waste fuel.

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So if you would normally fly to a place that takes 3-4 hours each way  to drive, which would you do? Take your driverless car straight to the destination or to the airport? For me, getting to the airport and on the plane takes about 2 hours of my time each way, not counting additional traffic delays. It also involves paying for parking, food and frequent delays. I would seriously considering relaxing in a comfortable driverless car having a snooze, catching up on emails or listening to some music. Perhaps watching a TED Talk.

I have the luxury of living in New Zealand and we have a very green electricity supply, so impact on the environment if I had an electric car would be minimal. Our main sources are geothermal and hydro, not coal or nuclear power, so it is largely clean and green.

Would driverless cars mean more cars on the road? I don’t think we’ll know until it happens. It could mean that the same cars are on the road more, which is the same effect to a degree. For example, if I was to use my car to drive to work, then send it home to take my children to school, then reverse the process, this would increase the number of trips our family would be doing because for example, going to and from work would double the daily commute distance. On the other hand it is one car instead of two, assuming the kids were driven to school by my wife.

Would this make traffic worse? If enough of us did this, yes it would. It would extend the time of the commuter peaks.

There are definitely changes to come. Concepts such as platooning will help, but only if car communication systems and computers are compatible and there are a critical mass of them. This story serves to illustrate that there are many side stories to this conversation and the outcomes will vary from one country and one city to another.

There are a lot of discussions about technology, but there haven’t been as many discussions about how it would change life in the real world.

See on Scoop.itLocation Is Everywhere

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in Autonomous cars, Driverless car, Driverless Cars, driverless vehicles, driving, Intelligent Transport Systems, safer driving, traffic, traffic congestion, Transport and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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