Navigating the Road to Autonomous Transportation


As with so many technologies today, it can be hard to distinguish myth from reality. The same is true with driverless technology, with various levels of automation serving to muddy the waters of understanding. A recent paper published in the International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management aims to shatter some of these myths and analyze both where we currently are with the technology, and where we might go next.

The authors accept that the technology has huge potential to transform society, but there remain considerable obstacles to overcome if the improvements to road safety, environment, and social inclusion are to be realized. In total, they identify 11 specific myths that have emerged around autonomous technology that need to be overcome:

  • Enhanced traffic safety and accident prevention
  • Better security – more monitoring and control of the vehicles of the new travel ecosystem
  • Reduced traffic congestion due to more efficient mobility and parking management.
  • Significant time savings – people can use the in-vehicle time to be more productive.
  • Smoother rides, more cabin space and more relaxed traveling
  • Environmental benefits including less CO2 emissions due to CAVs eco-driving capacity
  • Decreased noise nuisance – CAVs will have more noiseless engines and drive unobtrusively
  • Reduced energy consumption and fossil fuel dependence due to CAVs eco-driving capacity
  • Huge car-sharing and demand-responsive public transport potential.
  • Fewer layers of social exclusion – less age, disability and skill barriers in ‘driving’ a vehicle
  • Smaller enforcing, policing, insurance premiums and road signage requirements

Each of these myths is examined in the paper, with many reliant upon an overly optimistic belief in the development and adoption of the technology, both in terms of its capabilities and the speed of adoption. The authors believe that by taking a critical eye of the technology, a number of crucial, unresolved issues have been identified to ensure the inevitable transition happens as smoothly as possible.

This article was originally published here