Whether we’re ready or not to surrender more of our sovereignty to the omnipresent influence of technology in our lives, we will soon face another achievement that will have a profound impact on society, the economy and environment. Within this decade, driverless cars will cruise into our lives and harness our energy expenditures. The potential impact on our environment and energy efficiency could be unprecedented.
Driverless Cars Are More Energy Efficient
Despite an ongoing debate about the various pros and cons surrounding driverless cars, one aspect of them has gained universal acceptance. According to researchers, current cars greedily require up to 85% of their total gas just to move the steel of the car, as opposed to moving the person. The advent of driverless cars will usher in a dramatic decrease human error, and in turn, accidents. This means smaller cars with less need for steel and accident protection. Gas savings will be enormous and lessen our dependence on foreign oil. The way we drive will also greatly increase the amount of gas we save.
Fuel Economy Revolution
Although no universal agreement has been reached, many industry insiders widely believe that driverless cars will all communicate wirelessly. Envision a hive mind controlling smart navigation of car colonies across the nation. Fuel economy will be improved in a variety of ways due to this vehicle matrix. According to one estimate, cars will save between 20-30% more gas by drafting. By communicating wirelessly, cars will be able to drive in packs on expressways and interstates, thus reducing wind resistance. There are also added benefits in regards to parking and intersections. The need to drive around the block endlessly looking for a parking spot will be eliminated, as cars will communicate to each other about when and where the first spot is available. Lastly, it’s suggested that cars will be able to coordinate passing through intersections without stopping, thus saving gas by not idling at stop lights.
Auto Manufacturers Are Green For Go
Earlier this year, Audi conducted an open road test on a Tampa expressway with Governor Scott riding along. Besides Audi, BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Infiniti, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo all are actively researching driverless cars and pouring millions into their respective R&D programs. Driverless cars will likely be seen on the roads by 2020, but may not be common until 2030. Additionally, they will likely hit the market with hefty price tags, likely restricting their ownership to companies and the affluent. Regardless, they will radically alter our economy and society, perhaps starting with teamsters, mailmen, package delivery companies and even pizza delivery drivers. With absolute certainly, the driverless car revolution has arrived, and brings with it profound benefits for our economy and environment.
Bio: Jason Hall is blogger for Budget.com.au