Driverless cars are inevitable. Even though several obstacles are hindering this significant shift, there’s no denying that they’re going to be replacing traditional vehicles in the future.
How long that will be is anyone’s guess at the moment. But what can be predicted is the change that it will bring. One thing facing severe disruption once a legitimate autonomous car hits the highway is how people travel.
Disruption of the airline industry
Gone will be days you waking up early to commute from one location to another for a business trip. You can opt to travel at night, sleep through the journey, and wake up rested at your destination.
That means the airline industry will see a massive downtrend once this change occurs. Indeed, people are warming up to the idea of traveling with a self-driving vehicle compared to flying.
Security checks, aircraft delays, risk of losing luggage, and hassles that come with air travel can be eliminated entirely. Traveling by road has its disadvantages, with accidents and traffic congestion being the two major frustration factors.
But with driverless cars, that’s no longer an issue. Traffic congestion usually occurs when there’s an accident on the road. Automotive Vehicles (AV) can drastically change that since human error is the main problem when it comes to road accidents.
Even traffic jams are no longer a problem. This video by YouTuber CGP Grey perfectly explains why there are delays on the highway. And the main culprit is people just downright being inefficient drivers. With AVs, cars can simply communicate with each other in real-time and at lightning speed to boot. There’ll be no need for stoplights and crossroads as these vehicles whiz past each other without collision fears.
No more humans behind the wheel
This brings us to the possibility of the government banning human drivers on the highway. A human can’t match communication speeds and reflexes of machines, let alone keep up with self-driving cars.
Multi-state road trips are declining for those who prefer to feel the steering wheel and put their accelerator foot down. That’s not entirely bad either. People will have more time to enjoy the scenery with the journey handled by the car’s autonomous system.
They will be more refreshed with no need for lodging and making more time to relax during vacation time. The option becomes more enticing with the fact that there is no panic to find a rental car.
Longer travel options — without the exhaustion
As driverless cars offer longer travel options, there’s less exhaustion of manual steering or finding lodging when they are tired. They can just sleep in their car that’s outfitted with comfortable lounge seats, and they’re good to go. The money they’ll save will also mean more income going in the way of establishments in the city.
Autonomous cars open up the possibilities of enjoying a vacation without all the hassle. The competition will become fiercer as a result as time goes by. Cities will need to implement ideas to appeal to a new form of tourism and allow for unique experiences.
These tourists will have more time on their hands for leisure, shopping, recreational activities, and more. People will gravitate towards locales with a wider variety of attractions over one that only has few options. The convenience offered by self-driving cars will quickly wear down the novelty of a destination if it remains static.
This results in more events happening in a city, becoming a popular travel destination as establishments vie for tourist attention. That’s a massive boon for vacationers as their options get wider, and authentic experiences become more common among event organizers.
A long way off
This future is several decades away, as research and development efforts need completion in order to develop an autonomous vehicle. Google’s Waymo is the closest thing we have in this sort of transportation.
Currently undergoing road tests in predictable weather, Waymo has yet to get past the challenges posed by rain and snow. However, pressure on auto industry manufacturers from world governments to reducing CO2 emissions is helping to advance this technology.
The bad news is that technological constraint is just one of the many obstacles surrounding this issue. For example, policymakers are unclear as how a sound legal framework surrounding these vehicles will disrupt multiple transportation sectors.
Be that as it may, our future will definitely involve AVs. It may come based on their advantages, specifically the drastic decrease in road fatalities, given the trend of highway accidents.
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