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Will Driverless Cars Eliminate Traffic?

  • By Ryan Skidmore

Yes!

A few driverless cars, or DCs, can prevent some amount of traffic when operating on a roadway with live drivers. (Self-driving-cars-traffic) Even if autonomous vehicles make up as little as 5% of the total vehicles on a roadway, “stop-and-go waves” of traffic could be curb. (Self-driving-cars-traffic) DCs don’t do all the naughty things (here’s looking at you human drivers), like tailgate and break unnecessarily, that cause rolling slowdowns. DCs communicate with each other to operate better. DCs near each other communicate their intents and actions to one another creating a safer and more fluid situation for actions, such as lane changes. DCs further up the road can communicated road conditions, aka traffic and hazards, to approaching DCs, enabling them to prepare. Lastly, there will be fewer traffic infractions because DCs are programmed to follow traffic rules. Infractions lead to accidents that lead to traffic. Importantly, there will be less law enforcement pulling vehicles over or doing other things that cause traffic.

…And No

Zombie cars, so to speak, will have no occupants, but still take up road space, performing errands, like delivering packages, or going to pick up passengers that will cause more traffic. (self-driving-cars-cant-cure-traffic-but-economics-can) In this hypothetical future, cars presently on the road exceed the number of people needing to travel. Also, without the need to occupy all of a driver’s attention people may opt for longer commutes, choosing to work or sleep along the way. (self-driving-cars-traffic-congestion) Both actions create more traffic, however their scale, when fully realized, is hard to anticipate. The setup of the transit system, IE private or shared vehicles, could limit passengers’ ability to ride around all day Lincon Lawyer style. Lastly, there will arise other, unforeseen, factors that will cause traffic in this otherwise perfect system.

Until then…

While the future looks bright with DCs, companies have to deal with our current traffic situation and the risks of bad driving behaviors.  This is where fleet tracking can have a significant role.  By having the ability to track trucks on the road and driving behavior, companies can assess and rectify bad driving behaviors as they happen.  This will reduce risks and fuel consumption.

In today’s world it is imperative that companies use fleet tracking for their operations.  The benefits have proven to be game changers.  Fleet tracking allows companies to reduce costs, increase revenue, and keep drivers safe.

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