What Your 2025 Commute Will Look Like
The daily monotony is all too familiar for those of you who commute. When considering just how long we spend stuck in traffic, it becomes less an exercise of boredom, and more an exercise of wasted time. In fact, Americans spend some 25.5 minutes of their day stuck in traffic. If losing a half hour of your day to traffic doesn't seem like a big deal, consider this: at 25.5 minutes a day, you can expect to spend 4,400 hours of your working life driving. That's more than 6 months!
While these numbers are frustrating, we often feel powerless to change them. After all, we have to get to work somehow. So there's nothing we can do, right?
Enter driverless cars. If you've been keeping up to date in the world of technology, you've probably already heard tech-heralds announcing their arrival. These self-driving cars are expected to change the world in some remarkable ways. This is what you can expect your commute will look like by 2025:
Even if we're unwilling to admit it, humans are terrible drivers. As evidence, look no farther than the 1.24 million reported road traffic deaths on the world's roads in 2010. In 2013, motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of death in children younger than the age of 4 and young adults between the ages of 11–27.
Unlike humans, driverless cars will never drive drunk, have no ego, don't make risky decisions, can't speed, won't text while driving, and are never tired. All of this makes driverless cars much safer than their human counterparts.
Gone will be the headache of finding parking. When your driverless car takes you to your destination, you can simply get out. Your car will take it upon itself to find a parking space. Because you won't need to walk from it. The chosen parking space can be far away. Later, when you need to be picked up, you simply summon your ride using an app on your smartphone.
Imagine, no more parking tickets, or circling the block waiting in growing frustration for someone to pull out.
Less commuting time means more time doing the things you want. While sitting in your self-driving car on the morning commute, you can do your makeup, eat breakfast, prepare for an upcoming presentation, or talk on your Smartphone. The possibilities are endless, without having to worry about receiving a distracted driving ticket. Gone will be the days of staring at a sea of flickering brake lights with only the radio to occupy you!
Unlike humans, driverless cars are able to communicate with other vehicles on the road. Combine this with a near-instantaneous reaction time and you have a formula for improved traffic flow. Driverless cars can travel in convoys, bumper to bumper, performing meticulous calculations that remove the need for habitual brake pumps, which inevitably filter back in traffic and lead to slow downs. Reducing congestion can also prevent the need to dig up green space and replace it with expanded highway infrastructure.
The near-perfect driving record of these cars will see a substantial decrease in the number of vehicle collisions on our country's roads. As such, the cost for insurance is expected to drop dramatically, which will make owning a car more affordable.
Family and commercial impact
The cost of motor vehicle collisions can be especially high, as witnessed by family members who have lost a loved one as a result of an accident caused by a distracted or drunk driver. In the US in 2013, it's estimated the total societal harm caused by motor vehicle accidents causing death was approximately $870B, including an estimated $304B in economic costs. These cost estimates don't even factor in the quality of life lost, and the impact on commercial and household productivity.
Our question is this: why has it taken this long to bring driverless cars to market, and is there anything we can do to speed up their adoption before 2025?
Probably the greatest benefit of driverless cars is that anyone can operate them, not just licenced drivers. Imagine if your children could drive themselves to school, instead of you dropping them off before your commute. Whether for visiting a friend or going to karate practice, parents can feel at ease knowing their child will arrive safely.
Driverless cars are well on their way to changing your commute by the year 2025. These innovations are bound to revolutionize everything we know about driving and commuting. We look forward to this exciting future!