7 September 2016 9:54 am / Road Trip Drivers Buy a Car Finance a Car

Here's Why Autonomous Cars Will Eliminate Traffic Congestion

Cars that drive themselves are not a far-away utopian, Jetson-like future. The kind where everything is run by computers, minus the fear of humanity being overthrown by robots. It’s literally a future that is right around the corner. It's a bit surreal to think about, right?

Autonomous cars use the capabilities of today’s latest and greatest technology, taking human error out of the driving equation and making for a more streamlined commute. That’s technology that eliminates middle-of-nowhere breakdowns, wrecks, traffic jams, carjacking’s, you name it.

Wherever you land on the self-driving car spectrum (pro or against), the reality is that self-driving cars are more reliable than humans. They don’t panic, they don’t fall asleep at the wheel, they pollute less, and they relieve traffic congestion.

If you know anything about how traffic patterns work and how congestion occurs, you’ll know the horrible and agonizing truth at the foundation of driving: it only takes one bad driver to spark a traffic jam.

Gridlock is the bane of our collective existence. It’s the kind that puts everyone bumper to bumper on the highway and gets you pounding the steering wheel in frustration. That’s one jerk who is pushing the pedals and making you late to the office, late to your mandatory 8 am coffee, and igniting all the rage in the collective struggle that is your morning commute. And a few kilometers down the road, when you finally make it through said gridlock, when you’re looking around angrily, wondering where the accident is, you’ll find that all along, there was nothing.

No accident. No construction. No bottleneck. Just pointless traffic for no reason.

Traffic engineers call this phenomenon a “phantom traffic jam”. In which small effects accelerate through the system. In English, that translates to something like even just barely letting off the gas leads to other cars suddenly braking. It’s small errors of human drivers that add up in big ways.

The solution to all of this? Just maintain an equal distance from the car in front of you and the car behind you.

That’s it.

That’s all.

In theory, it’s a simple strategy. But near impossible to execute. Not all human drivers are aware of this principal. Not to mention, we are fundamentally flawed. We lack the precision and consistency to maintain equal gaps all the time. And unless everyone on the road is doing it, there’s not much you can.

Enter: self-driving cars. Cars that are programmed to embody the principle of effective driving that will get you to where you need to be on time. No pounding the steering wheel in anger. No calling into the office (hands-free, of course) to say you’ll be late. No glaring and making gestures at the driver in front of you. Just a smooth, streamlined drive to and from your A and B.

It’s a future that sounds too good to be true. But with technology moving as fast as it is, it’s one that is nearly right around the corner.

Until we reach a near perfect morning commute, how are you getting to work? Let BC Drive help you find the best car that suits your needs and gets you back on the road and getting from A to B. Think of us as your personal shoppers – here to take the hassle and stress out of car shopping.

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