Robot cars could increase highway efficiency 273 percent: Study
Research in self-driving vehicles has naturally focused on how to make the car imitate an intelligent driver: recognizing and navigating obstacles, reading signs and performing other common tasks. If there were only going to be a single such vehicle on the road, surrounded by human-guided cars, then that’s the most important thing to perfect. But what if nearly every car on the road is a robo-car?
Tientrakool’s paper looks at the difference in efficiency between when autonomous vehicles don’t communicate and when they act as a team. She concludes that cars simply managing their own speed would increase efficiency by an appreciable 43 percent, but if they were working together, that number jumps to a staggering 273 percent.
Cars would achieve this by banding together into groups, driving much closer to one another than humans do, and working out the best possible solution to things like merging and changes in traffic. Another study by Steven Shladover at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies makes similar predictions based on this “platooning” of vehicles.
(via Robot cars could increase highway efficiency 273 percent: Study, ht futuramb ht emergentfutures)