Accidents happen for a variety of reasons but human error is the biggest culprit. The nation’s roads would be a safer place if elements such as sleepiness, distracted driving and slow reaction times were taken out of the equation.
The function of autonomous driving, or driverless cars, is to eliminate human error with vehicles that function as robots, which are outfitted with camera sensors, radar, lasers and real-time GPS devices. These driverless vehicles would seamlessly move to destination points with a miniscule chance of collision with other vehicles, pedestrians and animals that wander onto the road.
And that future is closer than many would imagine.
Several companies are already developing the technology for driverless vehicles – including Mercedes-Benz and Nissan – and expect to be selling fully autonomous driving vehicles by 2020. Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla is expected to offer a car with 90 percent autonomous capabilities by 2016.
Even now, Google is using a small fleet of driverless Prius hybrids that have logged over 700,000 miles on the road. .
Navigant Research predicts that global annual sales of autonomous vehicles will reach over 95 million units per year, which represents 75 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales, by 2035.
How Autonomous Vehicles Would Benefit Fleet Companies
If the forecast is correct, then the impact would be huge in the fleet industry. Fleets would see a large improvement in overall safety, an increase in fuel efficiency and a rise in productivity.
In the United States, 90 percent of all crashes are caused by human error, according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety.
Being in a driverless vehicle could also provides technicians and field workers with added time to answer emails, make phones calls to customers or order necessary parts for future jobs. So not only would fleet employees be much safer, but they can also be much more productive during their day.
What do you think?