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Will Autonomous vehicles reduce congestion?

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Is it possible to travel in your city without any traffic congestion? Hmmm….. That’s why autonomous vehicle technology claims to be one of the major promises.

AVs seem efficient drivers and safe at higher speeds with smaller gaps between vehicles. It shows that vehicles have the potential to reduce congestion massively.

However, it is quite debatable about the impact of AVS’s claim to reduce congestion. Let’s scrutinize the whole debatable topic.

The supporters of AVs on one side wholeheartedly support the notion of AVs reducing congestion. Avs are faster than human drivers, which allows vehicles to safely follow each other at shorter distances and even at a high speed. The prediction states that highway lanes can carry more cars than in the present scenario.

One of the great potentials of AVs is to form platoons,” where autonomous vehicles follow each other closely in tight formation. It also increases the road’s capacity. Hence, the demand for widened highways can also be reduced, and congestion can also be maintained.

The technology associated with AVs can support parking vehicles more efficiently and reduce the need to search around the location.

It also provides the benefit of reducing the “shockwave effect” of traffic jams by modulating the speed rather than the human driving style.

However, the not-so-supporting group argues that AVs can’t reduce congestion. Constraints in terms of geometry and physical space restrict AVs with road capacity.

As per critics, “frictionless mobility” from AVs encourages longer commutes, more urban sprawl, and higher total vehicle travel, leading to more congestion. It was also speculated that AVs traveling empty to pick up passengers could lead to more congestion.

Even complex AV software systems could slow down operations, and the need for efficiency could jeopardize safety issues due to increased speeds on a packed road.

Everyday factors such as pedestrians, cyclists, deliveries, and parking contribute to disrupting the smooth traffic flow. In dense urban areas, AV’s ability to reduce congestion is not that powerful.

Has also been opinionated by experts and critics between the struggle of handling unpredictable human driver behavior and AVs. But are we not supposed to criticize the unpredictable behavior of human drivers?

It is still unclear on a practical basis about the claims made by AVs and the possibility of smoothing up life’s travel experiences.

AVs are quite complicated vehicles to experience, and the technical challenges are quite cumbersome to handle. It is uncertain to say anything about the possibility of reducing congestion or any uncertainties to handle.

It is also too much to overemphasize something that’s still a theoretical concept but has not yet been rolled out on the practical road. Traffic problems are an unexplainable issue in every country. Seeing AVs as a prime way to solve the traffic congestion problem is too hype.

But we cannot yet judge the latest technology and its outcomes for reducing the congestion problem.

Sources:- valiente mott, The Atlantic, Nextpit

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