The ongoing development of autonomous cars is intertwined with the development of smart cities. In fact, advances in smart cities are the most important factor that shapes the way in which autonomous cars are designed, manufactured and used.
Since the current generation of autonomous cars rely on their surroundings to make crucial decisions as they move along the road, relying on local landmarks and features to determine the most efficient route to their destination and to avoid collisions with others along the way, the way in which smart cities revolutionize living and travel spaces has the potential to fundamentally reshape how these cars operate.
Smart cities are already pursuing a new approach to infrastructure development, by creating intelligent roads, embedded with data-collecting sensors. This approach is primarily aimed towards creating a safer and smoother experience for drivers and pedestrians, but it can also have huge benefits for autonomous vehicles.
For example, the state of Ohio is already investing $15 million to turn a 35-mile stretch of highway into a Smart Mobility Corridor, embedded with sensors and a fiber optic cable that will aid autonomous vehicles as they collect data from the surrounding area in order to maximize travel efficiency, optimize traffic flows and assist emergency response teams.
In addition, the evolution of autonomous vehicles can assist smart cities in achieving their goals of becoming more liveable, sustainable and environmentally friendly. The expected millions of smart vehicles that will hit the road in the far future will result in fewer independently-owned cars and more communal autonomous ones. Studies show that a single autonomous car, operating in ride-sharing mode, could replace up to 10 privately owned vehicles, leading to fewer parking spaces and parking garages, more efficient traffic flow, less traffic and lower emissions.
“As more local governments come to realize the bounty both smart cities and autonomous cars offer to their economies and civilians, they’ ll embrace more changes like these to ease the way for self-driving vehicles.’
The original article can be found in NETWORKWORLD.
See also: Autonomous Cars: Are Driverless Vehicles Nearing Reality?