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

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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.

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

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    Paisley Hansen

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    Last Updated on December 18, 2020

    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

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    Can Technology have Biases Like Humans?

    Technology has taken a vantage leap in providing solutions for man. Before now, technology used to appear complex and would require a great deal of expertise to handle solutions available. Today, we have technology applicable in the simplest human activities as smart products with intelligent algorithms powering them as they make error-free judgments and provide intelligent and analytic solutions.

    Does technology have all the answers?

    This article from Credit Suisse, tells us that technology does not have all the answers because it has been found to exhibit “similar biases,” as humans. No one can discredit the impact of technology, but it is not totally free of human input and this is the reason we experience these biases in many areas we have technology holding foot.

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    Creating technological solutions transparently

    This article suggests that the process of creating technological solutions be made transparent and subject to contribution from many people who would end up as users of the product – male, female, young, old, learned, unlearned and all other preferences as we have them. It also underscores the importance of having women on product development teams. This approach is not sure to eliminate all forms of bias, but it is a good way to start in order to appraise the full benefits of technology.

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    Technology as the connecting tool

    Technology so far has been a major connecting tool amongst us humans. It is used and appreciated by all regardless of race, language and sex. In order to keep it less subjective to these arguments about human biases. I believe we should gather opinions on products and solutions before making them available to the public. This could be done by gathering input from intended target users and receiving feedback across the stages of production.

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    “Recognizing the problem is a start…success will depend on inclusive technologies that meet this vast untapped market.” This cannot be more apt especially at a time when we look up to technology for solutions. We should not muzzle our progress with technology by battling algorithm bias. The first way to avoid this battle is by reading this article here.

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