The clock is ticking for 19 companies who have set the years 2020 – 2021 as a deadline to get their self driving cars ready for the roads. There are doubts and hopes, limitations and opportunities, risks and rewards.
But even in the face of criticism and skepticism, evidence showing the advantages self driving vehicles have over human-driven cars is overwhelming.
Auto Loan Solutions has created an infographic full of facts and stats to highlight those advantages.
First off, there’s safety. Research, both anecdotal and statistical, has shown repeatedly that motor accidents almost always occur as a result of human error. Communication between AVs can bring those accident rates down dramatically, perhaps, by as much as 90%. That translates to as many as 300,000 lives saved per decade.
Seen as less of a boon and more of a burden to many, insurance policies often leave car owners frustrated and eager to reduce their costs. And drivers will get their wish if AVs improve road safety. In fact, one study revealed that driving an autonomous version of many popular cars could yield savings of $1,000 annually. This could eventually trigger a $220 billion loss for auto insurers, a toppling blow for the industry.
The traffic-afflicted often feel as if they are “wasting their lives” driving. But as much as 50 minutes a day – that’s 1 billion hours annually – may return to these commuters, thanks to driverless cars. In the U.S., that could produce gains of $507 billion. Self driving cars can do all of this by through more efficient road usage when moving in groups, resulting in less traffic.
In addition to reducing commute times, driverless cars will indeed eliminate those irritating bumper-to-bumper crawls. Platooning, the practice of cars moving in tight groups, when adopted by driverless cars, can raise highway capacity by 500%. What does that mean? Well, let’s just say it will mean a heck of a lot less traffic.
One of the biggest concerns surrounding self driving cars, are their costs. Naturally, the masses may assume that AVs will carry huge price tags, but both their operating and ownership costs are looking significantly lower than those of human-driven cars. And there are already “driverless” packages available for current car models, in many cases adding no more than $3,000 to their base prices.
Finally, the economy will likely receive a boost from the driverless market. A total of $96 billion in AV sales could happen by 2025, compared to just $3 billion in 2015. And we can to see expect industry-specific benefits as well. The freight industry is one of them, and may reap savings as much as $168 billion when driverless technology takes over the wheel due to lower fuel and operating costs.
The savings, the changes, the progress – all the goodies that autonomous cars look like they can bring, will no doubt come. Whether the companies in the race will deliver on those tight deadlines, well, we’ll just have to wait and watch.
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