Data from the U.S. government shows that driver error is responsible for 94% of auto accidents. In response, automakers are increasingly using automated features to help reduce errors and prevent accidents. Researchers suggest that automated vehicles, particularly self-driving vehicles, could reduce traffic fatalities by 90%. That accounts for 30,000 lives saved each year.
While we know that automation reduces the risk of accidents, do we really know what the benefits are? Let’s take a look at how automated features benefit drivers:
· More Independence – Self-driving vehicles allow more independence for people with disabilities like partial blindness or paralysis. These individuals can use the self-driving features to get where they need to go without relying on public transportation or other drivers.
· Saving Money – When there are less auto accidents, there is less spending. Automated vehicles reducing the rate of accidents would also reduce costs associated with medical care, vehicle repairs and lost time at work.
· Reduced Congestion – Americans spend more than 6 billion hours sitting in traffic each year. Fewer accidents on crowded roadways means less congestion. Less congestion means that commuters can get where they need to quicker and more efficiently. Experts say that even five percent of vehicles being automated would make a difference in congestion.
· Environmental Friendliness – Less congestion means less greenhouse gas emissions. Experts suggest that new-age vehicles could result in a 60% reduction in harmful emissions.
· Reduced Fuel Consumption – Automated vehicles could reduce fuel consumption by 40%. The cost savings related to fuel consumption and time-saving benefits could top $1.3 trillion.
As you can see, there are numerous benefits to automated vehicles. Saving lives, reducing costs, improving roadways and being more environmentally friendly are all certainly reasons to consider automation as the way forward.