Do driverless cars offer safer, lower-cost and more efficient transportation?

Driving more efficiently

These smart cars are capable of keeping a closer distance from other cars while also driving more safely, decongesting roads and reducing commute times. An average of 52 minutes is spent in traffic per day, “wasting your time on your daily commute,” Thrun said in his TED talk. “You could regain this time. This is 4 billion hours wasted in this country alone, and it’s 2.4 billion gallons of gasoline wasted.”

As experienced drivers know, not all roads are created equal. Google’s driverless car has traversed 140,000 miles in city, highway and mountain roads around the world, performing fine day and night and when faced with traffic lights, stop signs and toll booths. The cars have such a level of precision you’ll never have to worry about parking either, no matter how tight the spot is. (Skip to the 2:30 point of Thrum’s talk, video above, to see some of the cars’ stunts.)

“I think there’s a vision here, a new technology,” Thrun said, closing his speech. “I’m really looking forward to a time when generations after us look back at us and think how ridiculous it was humans were driving cars.”

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