Once a vision of the future, self-driving cars are being tested on our roads and could soon become part of everyday life. While the fatal crash of the Uber test car has led to doubts and fears about their safety, becoming a driverless society could offer a huge variety of benefits.
Here we explore key advantages of self-driving cars.
No Fears About Drink Drivers
In the UK, accidents caused by drink drivers are at their highest rate in four years, with over 9,000 people hurt or killed in cases involving drivers above the legal limit. While some are calling for tighter restrictions on alcohol consumption, autonomous vehicles could solve this problem, helping to keep drivers, passengers and pedestrians safer.
More Options for Those with a Disability
While car modifications are available for disabled drivers, with specialist companies like Allied Mobility specialising in these adaptations, many are still unable to get behind the wheel. However, a driverless car could solve this issue, providing greater access to transport for millions of people across the globe.
Less Congestion on the Roads
With current road congestion, drivers in the UK face spending up to three days per year stuck in rush hour traffic. Much of this is caused by human reactions, which contributes to stop-start traffic. Instead, self-driving vehicles remove these human errors, helping traffic to flow better while also potentially reducing the number of accidents.
No Unsafe and Unlicensed Taxi Drivers
Although taxi drivers are required to have licenses and are regularly monitored, there are still unlicensed taxi drivers on the road, which can pose a real concern for the public. As such, autonomous cars could remove this fear by providing unmanned cars that can transport passengers in safety.
More Productive Travel
A more obvious benefit is the time this would free up for travellers. By no longer having to sit behind the wheel and drive, passengers could use their daily commute for other purposes. This may include being productive and catching up on work, taking a power nap, or enjoying some leisure time.
Lower Fuel Consumption
Lastly, self-driving cars could be better for the environment as well as our bank balances, thanks to lower fuel consumption. Through the monitoring of road conditions and the ability to drive more efficiently, fuel usage could be reduced by around 40%.
Although it could be several years before driverless cars are on the road and readily available to purchase, they have the potential to benefit society in numerous ways, ultimately making roads safer for all.