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3 Amazing Benefits Of Driverless Cars That You May Have Never Imagined

3 Amazing Benefits Of Driverless Cars That You May Have Never Imagined
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    Source: Stockpic.com

    Some of the benefits of autonomous cars are obvious, and more free time is at the top of the list. Most of us love the idea of being able to take the roughly 204 hours we spend each year commuting and turn that into time spent working, surfing the internet, talking with a friend, eating or even sleeping.

    But the benefits of driverless cars don’t stop there, and include possibilities you probably haven’t even considered.

    1. Increase in safety

    Worldwide, 1.2 million people are killed each year in traffic accidents. Of these, 30,000 occur in the U.S. alone. Studies have shown that even partial automation of driving could significantly reduce these deaths, making the roads safer for everyone.

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    Already, automobiles with forward collision warning systems that alert drivers or automatically brake are involved in far fewer crashes.

    And the implications that driverless cars could have on auto insurance rates are mostly positive. With new driverless and connected vehicle technology, risk for traffic-related accidents will largely decrease, given that the new technologies will remove the human element that is the cause for around 90 percent of all traffic accidents.

    This could translate to auto insurance comparisons made on the internet showing lower rates for “drivers” (essentially passengers) of driverless cars. Fewer accidents and safer driving usually means a lower insurance rate.

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    To consider, however, is the probability that drivers will most likely need a special license endorsement due to the new skills required when operating a driverless car.

    2. Less traffic

    Automating driving would also bring with it the benefit of decreased traffic. As connected vehicles and driverless vehicles communicate with each other and their surroundings, they are able to identify the optimum route, which helps spread demand for scarce road space.

    Separate vehicles move together as a unit, reducing unnecessary accelerating and braking which are often the cause of traffic congestion. And as automated vehicles decrease the number of accidents, traffic will be increasingly lighter since accidents are one of the biggest causes for congestion.

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    Less traffic will also improve people’s health, as traffic jams have been shown to cause a rise in blood pressure, depression and anxiety, as well as a decrease in cardiovascular fitness and quality sleep.

    3. Reduced emissions

    Transportation produces nearly 30% of all U.S. global warming emissions, and personal vehicles are largely at fault, as roughly 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other global-warming gases are released for every gallon of fuel.

    Driverless cars, however, could be the solution to this problem. The technology that driverless cars and “connected vehicles” use would allow the vehicles to communicate with roadside infrastructure like traffic lights and road congestion, and then use this information to curtail fuel consumption and emissions significantly.

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    Grouping vehicles into platoons, or a group of vehicles accelerating and braking simultaneously, is one benefit that would be realized with the introduction of driverless cars. “Platooning” would contribute to greater fuel economy due to reduced air resistance as well as reduced congestion.

    And less aerodynamic drag could decrease fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Another study shows that even the use of autonomous taxis could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 87 to 94% per mile by the year 2030.

    The potential benefits of driverless cars are alluring and widespread, and the future for the industry is bright. And, if we let them, they could be the biggest thing to happen to transportation since Henry Ford’s assembly line.

    Featured photo credit: Untitled / Nicolai Berntsen via albumarium.com

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    Paisley Hansen

    Freelance Writer

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    Last Updated on May 14, 2019

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    8 Replacements for Google Notebook

    Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

    1. Zoho Notebook
      If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
    2. Evernote
      The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
    3. Net Notes
      If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
    4. i-Lighter
      You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
    5. Clipmarks
      For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
    6. UberNote
      If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
    7. iLeonardo
      iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
    8. Zotero
      Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

    I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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    In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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