According to this article by NextBigFuture, Japan will be answering the question, “How will self driving cars impact society?”
Japan is already beginning to work with self-driven buses within communities located in their rural areas. One such area is the town of Nishikata, which is located approximately 71 miles north of Japan’s capital, Tokyo. The reason is that elderly residents in Tokyo continue to struggle with fewer and fewer taxi and bus services because the population there is aging and shrinking.
Not only that, cities like Singapore and Paris is also experimenting with the driverless car technology. These major cities and communities could benefit greatly from their individual findings. As with Japan, a major motivation for adopting and perfecting a driverless bus system is an aging population.
The Future of Driverless Cars Are Driven by the Elderly
Elderly communities would most likely benefit more than any other demographic from this exciting new technology. It is believed that Japan could perfect a complete self-driving service for remote and rural communities by the year 2020, provide the trials which have begun recently are successful.
The Japanese government’s big plan is to turn freeway rest stops into major hubs from where the elderly could be ferried to retail, banking and medical services. The fact is that in Japan, smaller towns are greying at a faster rate than in their major cities.
Approximately one third of all people in Japan are above 64 years of age. Four years ago, this group only made up a quarter of Japan’s population. And this is in spite of the country’s overall population shrinking by 4.5 percent within that same time frame.
Benefits of Driverless Car Technology
As the world watches Japan plunge into driverless buses, it would be a great time to review the three major benefits of driverless car technology.
1 – Driverless Cars will increase safety – Sadly, there are roughly 1.2 million people who lose their lives on the highways every year across the world. Approximately, 30,000 of these deaths occur in the United States. Studies have shown that even partial automobile automation would drastically reduce deaths on the world’s highways.
One existing upgrade in automobile technology that has had a wonderful impact car safety has been the collision warning system that many new models have. These have proven to be very effective.
2 – Driverless Cars will reduce traffic – As drivers and passengers rely more on technology, their autos will be able to communicate with other autos and their surroundings. Thus, they will be able to optimize their routes. This will help spread traffic more across available roads which will reduce traffic considerably. Enhanced communication will also reduce fender benders and traffic jams, both of which increase traffic.
Think about how people’s health and well-being will benefit from less traffic. Stress will be greatly reduced.
3 – Driverless Cars will reduce emissions. – This benefit will also come about from the enhanced communication capability that these automated car systems will have. This is significant when you consider that 30% of the world’s toxic emissions come from cars. As driverless cars learn their surroundings and increase their efficiency, emissions will reduce as a result.
The entire world should look with great interest as Japan embarks on a potential driverless bus system. Such a system will greatly enhance the quality of life in the world overall. Since when you ask the question, “How will self driving cars impact society?” Japan may be providing the answer very soon.