How Will Driverless Cars Change How We Travel?


How Will Driverless Cars Change How We Travel?

by Jocelyn Anderson

The idea of a completely autonomous vehicle is exciting — and a bit scary. As we envision future advancements on the road, many would like to know just how much driverless cars could change human travel. 

For answers, we went to Lewis Fulton, co-director at the Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways program of Institute of Transportation Studies at UC  Davis. He and his team have plotted scenarios for what our transportation could look like in the future — and what needs to happen to receive the most benefits from new technologies like automation. 

According to a recent report by Fulton and his team at STEPS, achieving three revolutions — automation, electrification and shared mobility — together could help achieve the greatest benefits.  

One revolution alone won’t cut it. In fact, the report estimates that a driverless vehicle world without electrification or trip sharing might not cut energy use or CO2 emissions at all, and might increase vehicle travel by 15 to 20 percent. Imagine: Some people could send their empty cars driving around the city rather than pay for parking while they’re at work or seeing a movie. Fulton calls this the zombie car phenomenon, and it could have disastrous effects on traffic. 

...Read the full story at UC Davis News