Autonomous Autos

Driverless Cars Promise Safety and Savings




chombosan/Shutterstock.com

Hyundai demonstrated its Ioniq autonomous, or driverless, hybrid car concept at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, demonstrating that such vehicles—equipped with sophisticated sensors, GPS and computers—could be for sale within five to seven years.

Safety is paramount. Estimates for the U.S., based on a 2013 Eco Center for Transportation study, projected that if 90 percent of vehicles were autonomous, the number of driving-related deaths would plummet from an annual 32,400 to approximately 11,300.

“Drivers are excited that driverless cars will offer 90 percent fewer U.S. traffic accidents, 40 percent lower insurance costs, the end of drunk driving accidents and newfound freedom for seniors and people with disabilities,” says Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Technology Association. Its 2016 report Self-Driving Vehicles: Consumer Sentiments found that nearly 75 percent of consumers surveyed like the proffered benefits.

In Driverless, authors Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman highlight significant ecological benefits, including McKinsey research findings that driverless cars will yield up to 20 percent fuel savings, and a corresponding reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Their smoother driving also extends a vehicle’s life.

Ford intends to deliver a fully autonomous vehicle for ride sharing in 2021, according to Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company president and CEO. Companies such as Uber and Lyft already are testing driverless vehicles in pilot cities.


This article appears in the June 2017 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Healing Our Kids

An estimated quarter to half of American children have a diagnosed chronic condition such as autism or allergies, but an integrative approach to healing can have profound effects.

Farewell to a Beloved Pet

Innovative options now exist that honor a pet’s remains in an earth-friendly, biodegradable fashion using alkaline water, seeded pods or a manmade ocean reef.

Natural Vitamin E Lowers Heart Risks

Tocotrienols, a natural form of vitamin E found in wheat, barley, corn, rice and palm fruit, has been shown to lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure in seniors.

Music Reduces Need for Post-Surgery Opioids

After surgery, 86 percent of patients engaged in music therapy eschewed opioids and other painkillers, compared to 26 percent in a control group.

Knitting Releases the Blues

Knitting can lower depression, slow the heart rate, reduce the likelihood of dementia and distract from chronic pain, research shows.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags