Will driverless cars mean more traffic?
Some industry experts predict that the widespread use of driverless cars could bring much more traffic, at least in the short term when autonomous vehicles share the road with conventional cars.
Gary Silberg, automotive leader for KPMG, has written that driverless cars will bring a dramatic increase in the number of miles traveled, as these cars drive children to school and soccer practice, while others are dispatched to pick up pre-ordered groceries. And, of course, the disabled will suddenly be using cars!
As more autonomous vehicles take over the roads, highways and distances between cars can be narrower, and accidents will be fewer all of which will lessen traffic congestion. But in the meantime, as driverless and conventional cars share the road probably for decades the number of vehicle miles traveled will soar, Silberg predicts, and driving yourself anywhere could take even longer. After conducting focus groups in Atlanta, Denver and Chicago, KPMG predicts that the youngest and oldest drivers, age 16 to 24 and over 65, will see big increases in miles driven. Drivers in their productive middle years could eventually follow suit.Download Bulletin PDF