7 Reasons Why Self-Driving Cars Can Help Solve Modern Traffic

Before the pandemic caused a global resurgence of remote working opportunities, we all most likely had to commute or drive ourselves to work. And with all of us having to go to our offices, it’s very likely for us to hit traffic on the way. For some cities around the world, heavy traffic in rush hours meant going to school or to work an hour or two early - which can make working or studying quite a drag. Thanks to our work in Remotasks, we can make self-driving cars a reality - which can also help some of us avoid the stress of having to drive through messy traffic. However, did you know that self-driving cars can actually help solve modern traffic?

The Recap: What Are Self-Driving Cars?

If you’ve ever dreamed of a time when you can just sit back and sleep away as your car just drives you to school or back at home, then that’s exactly what self-driving cars aim to do. Previously the stuff of science fiction, engineers and professionals define self-driving cars as vehicles that no longer require human operation for navigation. Technology-wise, SDCs use a combination of advanced software as well as various sensors to scan and interpret things around them in real time, respond to traffic situations, and arrive at a destination safely. 

Sadly, modern SDCs aren’t commercially-available yet, as various companies are still testing various methodologies to ensure the efficiency and safety of their detection technology. Theoretically, the ideal SDC no longer needs a human driver to navigate to a destination but at the same time become accessible to human respondents in cases of emergencies. 

How Can Self-Driving Cars Help With Traffic?

Interestingly, aside from the comfort SDCs can bring to their users, these self-driving vehicles could pave a way to more peaceful roads devoid of any problem with regards to traffic. However, how exactly can SDCs lessen traffic just by not having drivers to drive them? Here are some considerations:

  • Did you know that self-driving cars can improve mobility for various individuals? Aside from sole benefits on the road itself, SDCs can help give more people access to better mobility. For instance, it’s important to remember that 49-million people in the United States alone have a form of disability or are over age 65, meaning they most likely have issues regarding mobility. However, according to a report, SDCs not only give these people more ways of moving around but also potentially give 2-million people with disabilities better employment opportunities as SDCs can get them to better destinations. 
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can decrease or even eliminate traffic congestion? It’s important to remember that we can blame a lot of traffic jams today due to lack of coordination. For instance, other drivers who need to switch lanes can’t get the space they need because one driver wants to move forward. If people just knew exactly how to adjust their cars to help lane-switchers navigate properly, people would spend less time waiting for their turn to switch lanes or make turns. Thanks to cloud technology and the advanced algorithm of future SDCs, these cars can potentially communicate with one another and instantaneously adjust their trajectories and directions to accommodate the need of other drivers to switch lanes or turn to other directions.
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can eliminate human error with traffic enforcement? In today’s society, traffic enforcement officers often do manual checking of traffic speed to enforce safety regulations. However, with advanced algorithms in SDCs, there might be no need for human elements in traffic enforcement. That’s because SDCs themselves will automatically regulate their speed, find the best routes without obstructing traffic, and even avoid accidents. Granted, enforcers may still be ready to respond to any emergencies. However, it’s likely that SDCs can greatly reduce the amount of human error-caused traffic jams due to miscalculated traffic speeds. 
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can eliminate parking woes altogether? Thanks to advanced algorithms, SDCs know not just how to avoid various obstacles on the road, but they likely know the best way to go to their drivers’ destination. However, theoretically, this knowledge also includes the SDC’s awareness of the best parking space by the time they arrive in the location. Thanks to cloud technology and real-time analysis, software used in parking spaces can instantaneously communicate with incoming SDCs whether or not there is free parking in their destination. As such, this greatly reduces the time cars need to wait for parking to become available and therefore reduces traffic in and out of crucial areas. 
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can reduce up to 90-percent of traffic fatalities in the United States alone? The United States Department of Transportation has stated that of 37,113 vehicle crash fatalities in 2017, 94-percent of them come from human error. If self-driving cars eliminate the need for humans to drive, this can potentially remove as much as 90-percent of human error incidents that cause vehicle fatalities. That means, on average, self-driving cars can save 30,000 lives every year. 
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can decrease the time vehicles spend on the road? Interestingly, thanks to advanced programming and predictive technology, self-driving cars may eliminate something called stop-and-go behavior. This behavior suggests that humans actually change speeds in traffic and not road accidents, and it’s this constant wave of stopping-and-then-breaking in traffic that congests the area even more. According to research from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, algorithms in self-driving cars can decrease the overall time people waste in stop-and-go behavior, making traffic much smoother in the process. Additionally, SDCs in the United Kingdom can reduce the overall travel time of citizens by as much as 40-percent, giving them a lot more time to do meaningful things with their free time such as work, schooling, or even resting. 
  • Did you know that self-driving cars can maximize road lanes by as much as 500-percent? With the rate of improvements in self-driving cars today, reports also predict that lane capacity would increase by a whopping 500-percent in the coming years. According to the State Smart Transportation Initiative, self-driving cars can increase this number by only 100-percent. Regardless, this guarantees at least a 20-percent increase in traffic speed for consumers bringing them to places they want to be much faster. To put this to perspective, a Columbia University study showed that 3,000 human-operated vehicles can traverse a highway every hour. However, 12,000 SDCs can traverse the same highway at the same duration of time. That’s because, with a speed of 75mph, SDCs only need a threshold of 16 feet to maintain a safe stopping distance between each other compared to the 115-feet needed for human-operated cars. 

Heavy Traffic? Self-Driving Cars To The Rescue!

With the above tips in mind, it’s important to remember that self-driving cars can actually give us a ton of benefits aside from just having an AI drive us to our destination. Thanks to carefully-curated programming and algorithms, the AI in self-driving cars can communicate with each other seamlessly to make a safe and efficient driving experience. As the above points out, with the right programming, self-driving cars may be able to solve modern traffic as we know it!

If you’re curious about how you can make a difference in the realm of self-driving cars, why not join more than 10,000 Remotaskers in the Remotasks platform? Thanks to free registration and free training, you can learn (and earn!) from a multitude of projects and tasks we have in the platform.

Do you want to read some more? Check out these Blog Posts too!

Start earning from home today!