Robotics & Automation News

Market trends and business perspectives

Dedicated Lanes for Autonomous Vehicles

Autonomous, or self-driving vehicles are already here, although in limited use. These cars and trucks have great promise for improving the driving experience for individuals and making trucking more efficient and less costly.

They are in the testing phase and will not be widely adopted until late in his decade.

Many in the industry originally thought progress for autonomous vehicles would be further along by now, but some difficulties have arisen. Safety is the primary concern, especially when these vehicles go truly driverless. Many on the road now have a human copilot aboard to make certain no safety issues arise.

Dedicated Lanes

Dedicated lanes are one solution to some self-driving vehicle issues. Currently, many areas already have bus lanes and commuter lanes to better manage traffic. A dedicated autonomous vehicle lane will address some critics’ concerns.

Using Computer modeling, one Australian study showed that dedicated lanes for these vehicles would improve safety and traffic flow.

Driving Performance

Autonomous vehicles drive very efficiently, smoothly increasing and decreasing speeds and quickly applying and releasing the brake. Humans are not as efficient, so it takes a second or two for them to accomplish these tasks. At a stoplight, this difference can cause problems.

If an autonomous vehicle is behind a human driver, it could rear-end their car because of this lag. At the very least, this difference can jam up traffic, making road conditions difficult for everyone.

Dedicated lanes would allow autonomous vehicles their own space and allow them to perform better. Meanwhile, human drivers could proceed as usual.

Safety Issues

Autonomous vehicles still have other safety bugs that could raise the risk of accidents. The technology is still developing, and not all of these self-driving cars and trucks have been certified safe, especially without a human inside.

Dedicated lanes would keep these vehicles somewhat isolated, which would reassure critics of this automotive trend.

When the industry broadly adopts autonomous vehicles, it will be a culture shock to many who will need reassurance. In a recent poll, 63% of respondents said they were in favor of dedicated lanes.

Autonomous Future

Many in the trucking industry are eager to launch fleets of autonomous vehicles. Most goods are still trucked from point A to point B, which can be a costly endeavor.

Truly self-driving vehicles will greatly reduce shipping costs, which should lower the price of operation and of consumer goods.

Autonomous vehicles are going to be a significant presence on the road in the coming years. Dedicated lanes can help improve safety, efficiency, and acceptance. They should be established well before the transition begins in earnest.

Main image courtesy of Cavnue.com

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