0 Adeline Barnes Asked: May 20, 2020In: Self-driving Infrastructure What effect will autonomous vehicles have on traffic jams? 0 What effect will autonomous vehicles have on traffic jams? carsdriverlesstraffic Share Facebook 2 Answers Voted Oldest Recent Robert Johnson Added an answer on May 29, 2020 at 5:38 am Traffic might even get worse for two reasons. 1) The same reason why road building increases the number of miles driven: more roads make driving more convenient so more people drive to more places more often. Self-driving cars will also make driving much more convenient. Think how much less of a penalty it will be to be sitting in a car when you don’t have to drive it! You could be reading, sleeping, working, whatever. So people will spend even more time in their cars. Predictably, commutes will get longer, and people will make even more trips. 2) Because the way we use cars will change. This is the Google plan: no one really needs to own a car and pay for all the time it spends sitting around in the garage, lending no value. Instead, just rent a car everytime you need one. Use your phone to have a driverless car pick you up and drop you off and to pay for the trip. When you’re not renting a car, someone else will be renting it, so it’s not sitting as an expense and unused machine 9 tenths of its life, and the cost of owning and maintaining the car is effectively shared among large numbers of people – and you just pay for what you actually use. Sounds great, but it does mean that there will be more cars on the road, travelling empty, as they move to the next person they will pickup. 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp M. Valdespino Added an answer on May 22, 2020 at 5:36 am It’s possible for driverless cars to greatly reduce traffic jams as they will affect them in multiple ways: Lane switching For routes that see assymetrical traffic flows at different times of the day, self-driving cars can choose how many lanes will go in each direction without a physical barrier between the directions. This also accomodates unusual traffic flows, like for special events. Exclusive reduction. Uncontrolled intersections. If cars communicate with each other and the infrastructure, then traffic lights can go away. Cars will adjust their speed and position to flow through intersections without stopping. Exclusive. Accident reduction Because self-driving cars don’t fail due to human error, they will eliminate a large portion of accidents. Proportional reduction. Reduction of rubbernecking traffic jams. When passing an accident or even just an unusual sight, most drivers slow down to get a better look at it. Self-driving cars won’t do this. Network reduction. Load balancing Cars can check the traffic on all available routes and choose the path with the least traffic. This ensures that many roads will be used equally. This will reduce traffic on the worst routes. Immediate reduction for user, network reduction for everybody else. Space reduction. Self-driving cars can potentially reduce the space between adjacent cars. This will allow greater density on the roads. Once all cars are self driving, the side-to side distance can be reduced as well. This works because intercar communications and sensors provide a much faster reaction time. Network/exclusive effect. Damping of ghost slowdowns When one car brakes suddenly, cars further back will brake. Thic creates a wave that goes back and can reportedly last for hours. Self-driving cars that communicate with each other can account for this and damp the effect. Network reduction. Hazard communication. Cars can communicate about up coming road hazards to cars behind them. This will allow cars to move over in time to avoid the hazard. Network reduction. 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Featured image Select file Browse Click on image to update the captcha. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.