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    Top 10 Benefits of Self Driving Cars

    Imagine sitting back in your car and reading a book while you are driven to work, without a driver, by your car. 

    While it may seem like something out of a Sci-Fi movie, we may see it come to life with the help of autonomous vehicles soon. 

    From the 1950s to now, cars have gone through a lot of evolution. From stick shift to cars that drive themselves we have come a long way. And now within the autonomous vehicle scope, there are multiple levels of automation.

    As we get closer to level 5 of autonomous vehicles, people have increasing concerns such wether it will be safe, in the event of the accident who will be held responsible, and more. 

    But while these questions are valid, autonomous vehicles will bring a lot of features and benefits to them. Let’s discuss some of them.

    Top 10 Benefits of Self Driving Cars

    Top 10 Benefits of Self Driving Cars

    1.  Safety

    One of the prime features that autonomous vehicles will boast is safety. 

    Many people fear relinquishing full control of their vehicle to the self-driving mechanism, fearing accidents. But on the contrary, a self-driving vehicle is supposed to be safer.

    The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) predicts that with the rise of driverless cars we will see the number of traffic deaths fall by 90%. 

    I know it’s a big number, but according to them, the year 2017 saw 37,133 deaths caused by vehicle crashes, 94% of which were due to human error. 

    In the year 2020, this number went down to 16,650. But this is still a big number considering most of the year went in lockdown with people quarantining themselves. 

    Add to this fact that we now have many safety features in our cars such as lane-keeping assists, adaptive cruise control, and automatic breaks, the figures should be way less. 

    But there’s only so much a vehicle can do when there is a human behind the wheels. And the human could be tired or sleepy or distracted or drunk and it inevitably leads to accidents. 

    With present safety features in addition to the technology offered by autonomous vehicles, we may see these numbers dropdown. 

    2.  Logistics 

    It is speculated that with autonomous trucks, the trucking jobs, which spans across multiple industries and moves over 70% of U.S. freight by weight, will take a big hit. 

    But on the contrary, it will act as an aid to truckers and the industries that rely on them. 

    According to Dr. Xiaodi Hou is co-founded TuSimple self-driving vehicle firm. To operate a truck for eleven hours per day, outwardly even getting a shower each day & performing far off from their place is a tarnish on the beauty of humanity.

    Secondly, we don't believe self-driving vehicles are running to strip any truck operators [of their jobs]," Hou maintained. "We don't guess that we are running to be competitors of truck operators. We are very great mates with the American Trucking Associations.”

    Currently, the trucking industry faces a lot of challenges such as, constant shortage of drivers in recent years, trucking being expensive, and the fact that “truck driver” job has been assorted as the most serious job in America with more than 4,700 fatalities in 2017.

    Hence trucking companies wish to alleviate driver fatigue and improve safety. And self-driving trucks can help a lot with that. 

    3.  Autonomous Cars for the Elderly

    To be able to operate a heavy machine like a car, one needs to be alert, acutely aware, and in control of their motor skills. 

    But sadly as a person grows old their bodies go through changes such as reduced eyesight, loss of hearing, and slower reflexes with loss of motor skills. 

    As a result, people who spent their lives independently driving themselves around had to resort to taking cabs or public transportation or rely on others. 

    This doesn’t just hinder their freedom, but also make their visits to the doctor or family difficult. 

    Currently, there are more than 46 million people in the US aged above 65. By 2050, that number is demanded to improve to about 90 million.

    So, a car that would drive the older generation to places on its own would be really helpful to them.

    4.  Autonomous Cars For Those With Disabilities

    Autonomous Cars For Those With Disabilities

    Typical cars also pose a challenge to differently-abled. 

    While some modifications can be done to accommodate some kind of disabilities, but there are many disabilities that would hinder a person from driving. 

    Today there are 53 million Americans who have some form of disability. One study recommends that automated vehicles could build new job openings for these millions of people with disabilities.

    Hence, powered with an autonomous vehicle, disabled people will have the independence to transport on their own but also give them chance at employment. 

    5.  Efficiency 

    How many hours a day do you use driving? Going from one place to another, sitting in traffic?

    Americans collectively spent an estimated 6.9 hours in traffic. Now imagine using that amount of time being productive, catching up on work, or maybe squeezing in another episode of your favorite show. 

    With autonomous cars on the road cooperating with each other for smooth traffic flow, we may see reduced congestion and spend less time in traffic. Moreover, people will have all that time in their hands which they typically spend cursing traffic. 

    A recent study showed that self-driving cars could free up to 50 minutes each day that is currently spent driving. It’s like having an extra hour added to your day. 

    6.  Convenience

    More than anything, your future autonomous car will come with an array of features. 

    Your car will basically fulfill all the responsibilities that come with owning a car. It will notify you when there is something wrong with the car, and it will tell you exactly which component is malfunctioning. And once the car will identify that it needs servicing. It will ask you to select which time would work for you and drive itself to the service center!

    Doesn’t it truly sound like the stuff of the future?

    7.  Real-time Route Optimization

    Autonomous vehicles will be equipped with Vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) technologies which allow the exchange of information between vehicles and infrastructure. The information would consist of road condition data while en-rout. So if there was an accident on a path, vehicles could coordinate with each other and infrastructure and re-route accordingly. 

    This will result in optimal routes, less ride duration, lower fuel consumption, and increased lane capacity. 

    8.  Reduced CO2 Emissions

    This reduction in traffic and congestion will also result in a reduction of CO2 emissions. 

    Further, a report by Ohio University states that new-age cars are expected to cut emissions to 60%. This is because autonomous cars can be programmed to reduce emissions. 

    9.  Cab Availability

    Cab Availability

    Many autonomous car companies are manufacturing their cars with the aim to create a fleet of self-driving cars that will act as ride-sharing services. 

    Since these self-driving cars can pick up and drop people to their destinations all day long without breaks, it would result in higher cab availability. In addition, the cabs will be able to travel for longer periods of time, such as out of town, as a driver who would be subject to drowsiness won’t be driving them. 

    It would also result in in-cab availability at odd times, like in the middle of the night or early morning. 

    And you also won’t have to pay surge prices for your autonomous cab when it picks you up late at night on the weekends.

    10.  More Efficient Parking

    While we may be able to use some of these features later with the arrival of level 4-5 autonomous cars, this feature we may get in earlier levels.

    You don’t need to be told the struggles of parallel parking. It’s one of the biggest challenges that novices face. But your personal autonomous car will drop you off at your destination and go and park itself. 

    The Future of Driving report from Ohio University says fewer parking spaces will be required to park autonomous cars. Currently, cars are parked in such a way that there is enough space left between two cars for the driver and passengers to get through easily. That won’t be necessary with self-driving cars and hence they can be stacked next to each other. This will especially be helpful in urban areas that face a shortage of parking spaces. 

    This will also cut back on the land used for parking which could, in turn, reduce real estate costs according to a report from KPMG


    The arrival of autonomous vehicles will not only benefit people from all walks of life but also our environment. It will cut down on traffic congestion and travel time and bring a lot of last-mile services with it. 

    Apart from comfort, it will also bring freedom to people and allow them to travel safely. 

    Not only well-established companies but also a lot of autonomous vehicle startups are working on creating vehicles that will be useful for personal and public use. And hopefully, we’ll see them on the streets soon. 

    Author bio: Oorja Pandya is a Marketing Associate in GreyB Services, a Patent Search Service Company with offices in Singapore, India, and the US.

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