Infographic: Driverless Cars Will Save Over a Trillion Dollars Per Year
"Autonomous cars are no longer confined to the realms of science fiction."
Google is currently testing its driverless car, Britain will allow driverless cars on the road starting in 2015, and a future "Autopia" in which humans are no longer trusted to operate dangerous vehicles seems all but inevitable. We've already written about the fact that the sociopolitical and ethical implications are enormous, but what about the financial implications? Data from Morgan Stanley shows us that autonomous cars will save the government over a trillion dollars per year, according to this comprehensive infographic from NeoMam Studios.
The infographic asserts that the savings will come from fuel costs, accident costs, productivity gains, and congestion reduction. This obliquely references many social benefits that could potentially arise from the advent of driverless cars, such as the reduction or even virtual elimination of accidents. Although that is likely the most significant overall, the effect that may have the most impact on people's everyday lives is the elimination of a non-productive commute and the possible elimination of congestion.
That being said, the infographic makes several assumptions that are somewhat optimistic. For example, its figures in the "accident costs" section assumes that accidents due to human error would be eliminated, while a new kind of accident would not be brought into play. While most experts agree that the roads would be much safer with autonomous cars than with human drivers, there could still be accidents due to mechanical malfunction that would skew those figures. However, they admit that these figures are just guesstimates, and that "the future can't really be predicted."