Southern California has, yet again, confirmed its negative record of having the country’s worst traffic. Drivers in the Los Angeles region wasted 81 hours idling on freeways in a year, the worst cumulative delay of any U.S. metropolitan area. In San Francisco and Washington, the second-worst places to commute by car, drivers wasted about five fewer hours than in Los Angeles in 2015. The Greater L.A. area has four of the world’s most-congested freeway segments, and over the next years, if transportation opportunities will not grow, drivers in Los Angeles and other major cities should expect congestion to increase.
Driverless vehicles and sophisticated real-time services have the potential in the long-term to transform mobility and drastically improve the safety of our streets and decline traffic congestion.
Making cars go in autonomous way will probably increase the categories of people who will be using cars, like young and elderly. Therefore, it might also increase the number of trips. Who wouldn’t prefer to watch a film, read a book, write an essay by getting on a driverless tour around the city? Special if energy consumption will be more economical and renewable. In fact, if on one side someone can argue that autonomous vehicles will increase use of cars since they might make your future commute a lot more pleasant, there are several positive impacts which are in favor of autonomous cars.
The first idea is that autonomous cars will eliminate accidents caused by human error, which are one of the major contributor to traffic. The second is that driverless cars will reduce car ownership and occupancy because of car sharing, and therefore it will no longer make sense to own a car that remains idle most of the day, continually depreciates in value and wastes significant space in cities.