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Seven Ways Self-Driving Cars Will Improve Your Life

Published 29th September 2015

By 2020, several car makers, including newcomer Apple, hope to have the first self-driving vehicles on the road. The thought of your car driving without any human intervention may seem a bit scary, but there are countless benefits that self-driving vehicles will provide.

1. Fewer accidents, more saved lives
Since self-driving vehicles will use radar sensors and cameras to take over the controls, there will inevitably be less human error. Most accidents that occur today are caused by some sort of human error, ranging from speeding, slow reaction times and even driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

If humans are taken out of the equation, the number of accidents will drop substantially. In fact, Google reports that, as of July 2015, all of the incidents involving its self-driving test cars have been the result of human error.

2. Less congestion
Anyone that has driven through cities knows how painful it can be to commute. In normal driving, it’s best to stay two to three car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you to allow for braking room should the driver in front of you slam on their brakes suddenly.

Since self-driving cars constantly monitor the road conditions, vehicles can drive a bit closer behind one another on the road.

Also, if every connected self-driving car is driving the same speed down the same road, that means less last-minute braking.

3. Parallel parking will be a breeze
If a self-driving car can drive itself down the road, then it can surely park itself as well – newer dumb cars can already do this. Getting frustrated at your lack of parallel parking abilities will be over since your car will just do it for you.

Even trying to fit into a tiny parking spot at the shopping centre will be easier, since you can get out even before your car parks itself. Imagine a pristine car park filled with scratch-free, self-driving cars – door dents will be gone forever.

4. Lorry drivers finally get a break
Lorry drivers spend countless hours behind the wheel, transporting goods all over the country. Perhaps more so than any other driver, lorry drivers are at the highest risk of falling asleep at the wheel.

Mercedes-Benz recently revealed a new self-driving concept. In the concept, the driver can easily take a break to catch up with their messages or even just to take their eyes off the road while the lorry continues driving.

5. More time for you
Today, we spend countless hours commuting to work. During this commute, the only thing you can do is sit there and make sure that you don’t hit the car in front of you.

Self-driving cars will change that. Since you won’t have to actually drive your car, you can just sit back and catch up on some work that you might be behind on or read a book. You could even catch a quick nap. Driverless cars will give back precious hours that we spend on a daily basis just sitting there.

6. You’ll save petrol
Many of the self-driving cars that we’ve seen have been electric cars, but it’s doubtful that every self-driving car will be that green. For the self-driving cars that still use petrol or diesel, the technology will still help improve fuel consumption through efficiency.

It’s widely known that speeding and braking last minute kill your mpg (miles per gallon). If the self-driving car is doing all the work, it will be able to accurately predict braking times and regulate driving speeds. This thereby could see an improvement in your mpg.

7. Increased mobility for the elderly or disabled
As we get older, our ability to see correctly dwindles, which makes driving very dangerous. Older drivers also have slower reaction times. Since self-driving cars will take over the driving duties, they will offer a new way for older drivers to get around. This will also help disabled drivers who, up until now, may have had to rely on other, less convenient methods to get around.