Is the self-driving car a green choice?

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Is the self-driving car a green choice?

By now, we’ve all heard the news about Google’s self-driving car. The futuristic technology is being tested on UK roads this year and is set to be available to the public in just five years. But what does all of this mean for the environment?

Could self-driving cars be a good move, or just another ozone eating invention? Well we’re looking into the possibilities of what this new technology could mean for green drivers.

Prototypes of the autonomous vehicle have been mainly electric, so no nasty greenhouse gasses there. Moving further into the future, what’s to say other eco friendly, hybrid or alternative fuels couldn’t be used?

The cars also have the potential to drive more efficiently than any human driver ever could. Cleverly navigating through busy roads and windy country lanes, the self-driving car would be able to foresee junctions, other vehicles and hazards much quicker, possibly even eliminating the need for emergency stops.

On the other hand, the self-driving car would open up vehicle travel to many people who for whatever reason couldn’t previously drive. People who no longer need to be fit, longsighted and able enough would be able to travel by car once more. Assuming that these people don’t carpool, this means that whatever emissions we might have saved by being efficient, we’ve lost by multiplying.

On that note however, these cars have the potential to be used cleverly by large families. As they don’t need a driver, the car could act almost as a shuttle service, dropping the family off at different locations and picking them all up again. It might well be goodbye to the school run once and for all! This concept could get rid of the common issue of two of more cars per household and in turn the parking problems in housing areas.

Back to green issues though, it is yet to be seen if the self-driving car will have any impact on our environment, as it’s still in the testing stage. It’s an exciting concept and it will be interesting to see what happens in the years to come.

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