Driverless Cars: 5 Ways That They’ll Affect You

An Article by Temple Brown Consulting

When the first Model T Ford came along, way back in 1908, I’m certain that nobody believed that these vehicles would drive themselves one day, let alone within the space of a century.

Driverless cars are things that everybody still sees as the future; automatic vehicles that will take you wherever you want while you sit back and let it drive. Definitely sounds like it’s futuristic, however you would be wrong in thinking they’re not going to happen just yet, as they’re being tested on roads all over the world. As great as it is, having technology rush in such a way it’s difficult to keep up, it strikes the question that we all want to know; how will it affect me? In this article, we are going to cover the top 5 ways that driverless cars will change your life, and how you will see an impact every day.

Higher Productivity

According to a recent survey, it has been said that most drivers will spend on average around 290 hours behind a wheel per year. That’s over 12 full days per year wasted behind the wheel of a vehicle, which is a huge amount of time that could be spent on things far more productive. Right now, as driverless cars are being tested, they require a human behind the wheel to take control if the autopilot was to fail. However, there will be a time in the near future where humans aren’t required behind the wheel at all, and will be able to relax in the back of the vehicle with a movie or catching up on the recent news, which will most likely be via a screen that is built into the vehicle too.

Safety First

Although vehicles are constantly having on-board safety features improved, driving is still regarded as the most dangerous form of travelling; according to a recent survey by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), 94% of road accidents can be tied to human error. Cut out the human driving, and this statistic will be certain to drop.

Upon design and production, driverless cars will be covered in sensors that are constantly gathering data from the ever-changing environment around them. These sensors include cameras, lasers and ultrasonic sensors which are continually collecting and programming data without the human issue of fatigue. The data that is collected is then processed so that the vehicle can travel at a safe speed without causing any accidents, whilst being able to brake a lot quicker than a human; taking out the human instinct and replacing it with a computer will help speed up reaction time. All of this combined will help to make driverless cars a much safer form of travelling on the road.

Ownership is a Thing of the Past

Three-quarters of UK automotive executives, surveyed by KPMG, believe that by the time we reach 2025 more than 50% of vehicle owners will not want to actually own a vehicle, as driverless car-as-a-service should be available. This will change the way that the automobile industry is viewed as it won’t matter so much about the comfort to drive. Instead, people will be looking at the availability of a car we desire, the route that it will take, the on-board entertainment and the price.

For example, Bentley are already paving the way for their future, and how its future customers will be requiring new things.

“They will, for example, demand instant, unobstructed access to technology, information and convenience; have an entirely different attitude towards vehicle ownership; and live in an increasingly urbanised world,” Wolfgang Dürheimer, chairman and CEO of Bentley.

Bentley look to introduce more sophisticated, connected car concierge services and ‘club ownership,’ where citizens won’t own just a single vehicle, but ‘luxury mobility solutions at selected citizens around the world.’

From Easier Parking to Better Parks

It’s a common misconception that our towns and cities have been built with roads being worked around them, when in fact we base our communities around the roads that we require, and most of the time, the cars that are continually parked down the side of the road. Various studies from around the world show that cars are only in motion 5–10% of each day, dependant on traffic. This could change drastically through driverless cars, cutting congestion and the frustration of having nowhere to park. The driverless car-as-a-service will mean that people can summon a vehicle whenever and wherever they require, removing the need for parked cars. This means that we could widen our streets, allowing a more pedestrianised area.

“That is a world built around people, not cars,” John Zimmer, co-founder of Lyft.

The roads will also be transformed in terms of the road signs, as the AI (Artificial Intelligence) won’t require a stop sign. As the AI advances, and human-driven cars become obsolete, road signs and markings will adapt to the fleet of driverless cars, sending signals relating to upcoming hazards to each vehicle around.

The Air That We Breathe

At the current time, vehicles are dependent on petrol or diesel to create power, causing a lot of inner city pollution issues. Driverless cars are reliant on batteries and fuel cells, rather than petrol and diesel, helping to cause a positive impact on these pollution issues. Advances in battery power will mean that we will make an indefinite amount of charges without harming the battery itself. It will also mean that vehicles will be able to travel over 1000 miles before having to recharge, which will be highly beneficial to self-driving taxis; this could cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 94%, according to a recent study by NHTSA.

The future is now. Before you know it, driverless cars will be covering our roads and the automobile industry will be changed completely. Driverless vehicles are something that shouldn’t be forgotten about, as they will be affecting your everyday life within the next 10 years. So get ready for the evolution of our roads and prepare for the major improvement of everyday travel, as it will be here before you know it.

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