Automated driving can sound like a scary advancement into a new era of technology. However, vehicles now already have certain amenities that could be seen as partially automative. “A number of today’s new motor vehicles have technology that helps drivers avoid drifting into adjacent lanes or making unsafe lane changes, or that warns drivers of other vehicles behind them when they are backing up, or that brakes automatically if a vehicle ahead of them stops or slows suddenly, among other things.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration listed a few of the benefits they see automated vehicles bringing us here in the near future.
According to NHTSA, “automated vehicles’ potential to save lives and reduce injuries is rooted in one critical and tragic fact: 94 percent of serious crashes are due to human error.”
“A NHTSA study showed motor vehicle crashes in 2010 cost $242 billion in economic activity, including $57.6 billion in lost workplace productivity, and $594 billion due to loss of life and decreased quality of life due to injuries. Eliminating the vast majority of motor vehicle crashes could erase these costs.”
“Roads filled with automated vehicles could also cooperate to smooth traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion. Americans spent an estimated 6.9 billion hours in traffic delays in 2014, cutting into time at work or with family, increasing fuel costs and vehicle emission.”
“Today there are 49 million Americans over age 65 and 53 million people have some form of disability.In many places across the country employment or independent living rests on the ability to drive. Automated vehicles could extend that kind of freedom to millions more”
Fully automatic vehicles are not yet available to purchase but perhaps they will be soon and we will see their benefits take place.