A new German study shows that autonomous driving cars could save billions of dollars and reduce CO2 emissions. According to the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, autonomous driving will result in 8.3 billion euros ($9.7 billion) in savings and a CO2 reduction of 6.2 million tons, reported Tech2.
German newspaper Bild am Sontag cited the study earlier this month, writing: “Autonomous driving will reduce fuel consumption and operating costs by saving time and increasing safety.”
Driving time is expected to decrease by 20 percent, which will save as much as 4.1 billion euros per year. In the future, that could increase to a savings of at least 15 billion euros per year, according to DIHK.
Meanwhile, automakers and others are still working out the kinks on autonomous cars. Uber recently laid off 100 autonomous vehicle operators following a fatal crash in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Earlier this year, a self-driven car in Tempe, Arizona, hit and killed a pedestrian. In March, Uber suspended its testing of driverless cars at all of its facilities in Pittsburgh, Tempe, San Francisco, and Toronto. In late May, the company laid off 300 people from its facility in Arizona.
These setbacks may be putting the company’s vision on hold, but they’re not stopping its momentum.
“Our team remains committed to building safe self-driving technology, and we look forward to returning to public roads in the coming months,” an Uber spokesperson said.
A number of companies are investing in self-driving cars. The Google-launched Waymo is kicking off a pilot program involving driverless vans that will start commercial service later this year. General Motors is working on releasing a taxi-type car without a steering wheel or pedals in 2019. Mercedes Benz’s adaptive cruise control system already helps drivers avoid pedestrians and other obstacles in the road. Aptiv Plc is testing self-driving technology and ride-hailing systems. Roborace became the first autonomous vehicle to finish the famous Goodwood hill climb. The list goes on.
It’s just a matter of time before self-driving cars will be safe enough for everyone to use.