There is no denying that self-driving technology will have a huge impact on the world around us, especially when it comes to the driving experience and traffic. While autonomous cars do have some challenges to face, the features and technology that are currently being developed will ensure that self-driving vehicles will overcome these obstacles with no problem.
The fact of the matter is that autonomous cars will seriously influence everything from parking to traffic lights in the future. But how could a concept like driverless vehicles achieve such a thing? Here are some ways autonomous vehicle technology will change the way traffic works and what it will look like in the near future:
1. Autonomous cars will be able to exchange data between them.
This way, they will be able to prevent any vehicle collision from happening. It’s no secret that many accidents happen because of human error and lack of attention. The wireless systems that will be attached to pretty much all dirverless vehicles will allow them to exchange data regarding speed and location with one another.
[ Photo Credits: Mark Doliner’s Flickr ]
This basically means that human error will no longer be able to cause accidents, since the vehicles themselves will know how to avoid them in a timely manner. This technology may not be available yet, but fast technological advancements are being made to ensure it will be available in a couple of years.
2. This technology will free up a lot of urban space.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released a study two months ago that showed how shared autonomous cars can actually free up a lot of space that can be used for other purposes, such as urban recreation areas. Moreover, this study wasn’t based on a theoretic model of a non-existent city. No, it was based on the real-life city of Lisbon, Portugal.
The researchers found that it took way fewer autonomous cars to accomplish basic pick up and drop off trips that require more human-piloted vehicles nowadays. Not only would this bring about numerous environmental benefits, but apparently it could also mean that the streets could be narrower, thus making more room for pedestrians.
3. Traffic lights and parking lots might become extinct.
The numerous parking lots you see scattered around your city might become a thing of the past if the autonomous cars become reality. Scientists and engineers believe that with the right technology, autonomous vehicles will be able to drop off people and then make their way to a designated location and wait there until they are needed. This means that the space occupied by parking lots could be put to better use, such as converting it into large parks.
Since these cars would be ‘smart’ enough to know where they are not supposed to be, parking tickets would definitely become a rarity. Moreover, thanks to the aforementioned data exchange between self-driving vehicles made through hidden sensors, traffic lights would no longer be a necessity, since the cars themselves will be able to coordinate traffic.
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