Potential Benefits Of Self-Driving Cars

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Another potential benefit of self-driving cars involves improvements in traffic and travel times. Every driver knows the frustration of traffic: many have arrived late to important meetings as a result of standstills and slow speeds. In fact, congestion wastes about $100 billion a year of time and fuel in the United States (Hosansky). Traffic in major cities is particularly worse, as Manhattan drivers have an average speed of 9.5 miles per hour on weekdays (Grynbaum). Many believe that self-driving cars could follow each other safely at high speeds because they will know what the cars around them plan to do. Thus, the self-driving cars would decrease congestion and shorten travel times, making automobile travel significantly more efficient. According to a study conducted by Columbia University, the ability of cars to safely travel more closely together could increase highway capacity by 273% (Ackerman). Currently, vehicles occupy only 5% of highway capacity because human drivers need sizable space to drive safely. If cars drove themselves, the space between vehicles on highways would decrease from 150 feet to about 20 feet (Ackerman). …show more content…
In 2015, this dream is now a reality, and one that everyone will soon be able to enjoy. Self-driving cars would eliminate human error, reduce the number of accidents, prevent thousands of injuries, and save countless lives. These cars could also reduce congestion, decreasing travel time and make car travel more efficient. Yet, whether or not people will buy self-driving vehicles depends on if people will sacrifice the often therapeutic act of driving, trusting cars to fully operate themselves, and, of course, their cost. Although the potential benefits excite many consumers and much of society, it is evident self-driving cars are still years away from making a significant positive impact on

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