Of all the mind-blowing potentialities made possible by the hype surrounding self driving cars (i.e. moving conference rooms, fully reclining seats with flat screens, accident avoidance features, etc.), what gets overlooked is the mundane.
The team of super smart people at MIT’s Senseable City Lab have created a new video (aptly titled “light Traffic”) that suggests that, in a world of self-driving cars, the need for stoplights might go away.
What’s really incredible here is not only the dramatic efficiency from a time perspective, but take a look at the embedded chart that shows emissions reductions. Not only is fuel economy the worst when accelerating, so is the intensity of GHG emissions. So, reduce traffic and reduce emissions. Everyone wins.
Beyond smart intersections, however, there are other CO2-reducing benefits of widespread autonomous vehicles. According to a report produced by the Intelligent Transportation Society, there are 16 emerging technologies that can reduce vehicles emissions beyond self driving cars, including: adaptive cruise control, eco-navigation, and connected-car systems to enable more efficient transportation.
There’s no doubt that urban mobility will be utterly transformed within the next decade.