Autonomous cars are a recipe for traffic mess

Feb 04, 2019, 7:01 AM EST
(Source: James Schwartz/flickr)
(Source: James Schwartz/flickr)

The advocates of self-driving cars tout their promise to reduce traffic congestions. A new analysis, published in journal “Transport Policy,” not only blows a hole in that claim but warns of traffic “nightmare” that could be unleashed by autonomous vehicles.

Savvy owners may keep their self-driving cars wandering on roads at a slow, fuel-efficient pace to dodge hefty parking fees as they shop, a situation that could lead to “robot-fueled gridlocks,” writes Mail Online.

The findings of the study aren’t mere conjectures. Adam Millard-Ball, the author of the study, generated a simulation of 2,000 autonomous cars in downtown San Francisco and found that even this modest influx of AVs on roads could slow down traffic to less than 2 miles per hour, reports Inverse.

Ironically, the steep parking fees, which nudge commuters to take public transport, would be culprit behind traffic snarls arising from self-driving cars.