Driverless Cars Coming Soon: Lives Will be Saved
We have all heard that driverless cars are on the horizon. GM is currently testing a car with no steering wheel or pedals that it says will be ready for the roads in 2019. “Connected” vehicles are also in production, meaning cars will be equipped with Wi-Fi and other communication technology that enables them to share data with other connected vehicles, connected infrastructure and the driver’s smart phone. Many of today’s motor vehicles are already equipped with life-saving technology that helps drivers avoid drifting into adjacent lanes, warns drivers of obstacles when they are backing up, or brakes automatically if a vehicle ahead slows or stops suddenly.
Benefits of Automation
The main benefit of automated vehicles is safety. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. More than 35,000 people died in motor-vehicle crashes in 2015. By removing human error, automated vehicles will save thousands of lives and reduce injuries. In addition, automated vehicles have the potential to smooth traffic flow and reduce traffic congestion, saving time and money. New technologies will allow vehicles to constantly transmit and receive information about traffic flow, road conditions, accident, weather, and other driving hazards. Automated vehicles may also provide new mobility options to millions of Americans who are unable to drive due to disability or other limitations.
Ohio is on the Cutting Edge of Automated Safety Technology
DriveOhio, an initiative of the Ohio Department of Transportation, is the state’s new center for Smart Mobility—using the emerging technologies to move people and things from point A to point B in the safest, most cost-effective way. Since 2011, Ohio has invested $14 billion in infrastructure projects, making Ohio’s infrastructure among the safest and most “autonomous ready” in the country, including a 35-mile Smart Mobility corridor. Public and private entities are working together to design, develop, test and use autonomous and connected technologies.