Global Engineering

AI, Take the Wheel: The Benefits of Using Self-Driving Cars

Although the first self-driving cars were invented in the early 1980s, it wasn’t until the mid-2010s that they really started to become popular. Of course, they’re still unusual, but the idea of a self-driving car no longer feels like a sci-fi fever dream.

Also known as autonomous vehicles, self-driving cars make use of highly advanced technology to monitor their external environment and make decisions accordingly. They use sensors, cameras and computer algorithms to be able to avoid obstacles, adhere to traffic signals and signs and even make decisions about the fastest and best routes to take.

While the idea of a completely self-driving car may still be a little scary for some, especially if you’ve watched Transformers, there are loads of benefits just waiting to be unleashed.

Here are some of the top advantages of using self-driving cars.

Increased Efficiency

One of the most frustrating things about being a driver on the roads in a busy city is having to deal with traffic and congestion. Of course, there are already several applications and ways in which drivers can monitor how busy the roads are and decide which routes are best to take. However, self-driving cars are able to take this one step further.

Since they’re able to communicate with other vehicles, self-driving cars have the potential to be able to organise and coordinate themselves in such a way that reduces traffic – all without humans having to make a decision. Of course, the problem with humans trying to avoid traffic is that sometimes people don’t know alternative routes, or, everybody tries to take the quicker route. With self-driving cars, this can all be made far more efficient and could result in shorter travel times, reduced fuel consumption and even lower carbon emissions.

Improved Safety

One of the leading reasons for road accidents is human error – whether it’s drivers being tired, distracted, speeding or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. With self-driving cars, these variables can be completely removed, significantly improving road safety.

More Accessible

Under ordinary circumstances, driving a car requires skill, a license and a certain degree of physical ability. With self-driving cars, it would become possible for people who are currently unable to drive, due to being disabled or elderly, to regain their independence.

Reduced Costs

The two main thoughts when it comes to cost are parking and damage to the roads. With regards to the former, self-driving cars would negate the need for parking lots near destinations, as the cars could simply drop the passengers off and travel to a more conveniently located parking. As for the latter, they would also decrease the number of human-related accidents, decreasing the money required to be spent on road maintenance.

Improved Use of Time

With self-driving cars, we would no longer need to waste hours of our day sitting behind the wheel on our way to work, and so on. Instead, we’d be able to use our time far more productively as passengers, whether it’s working, browsing the latest US Masters betting odds, reading or even sleeping.