Self-driving cars could lead to twice as much traffic, UK government says

Self-driving cars could make getting to work an absolute nightmare, if the government's predictions are anything to go by.

According to PA, the Department of Transport has released new traffic projections for England and Wales which suggest that road delays may rise by as much as 85% between 2025 to 2026—if self-driving cars become the norm.

So if super-smart autonomous vehicles make up half of all cars used by 2047, the roads could become much more congested.

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Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation, argued that congestion would rise because self-driving cars would enable more elderly people to drive.

Gooding said: "In the foreseeable future, automated vehicles offer the tantalising prospect of independence for the many millions more people who fall into the older age group but for whatever reason—cost, medical impairment—don't currently drive."

He added that letting people access self-driving cars through on-demand rental will decrease pressure on the roads.

"If everyone insists on having their own driverless car then traffic volume and parking pressures will rise.

"However, if we are prepared to access these vehicles on-demand and forego personal ownership then we could have a win-win situation: quieter roads, fewer cars shared by the many, and cheaper transport."

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However, the report also says that people will be happier about 'sitting in traffic' because they'll have the "ability to work or relax while travelling in a self-driving car."

The idea is that you'll be able to use your phone, watch TV, or play videogames while your vehicle takes you to where you need to go.

Fully self-driving cars are still not legal in the UK, but the department for transport expects them to be on the roads by 2025.

Car companies like Tesla have spent years trying to develop 'full self-driving' technology, but the software is still not quite there yet.


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