A new study conducted by the UK’s Department for Transport shows that a full uptake of autonomous cars in Britain could cut road traffic by 40%.
The research concludes that connected and autonomous vehicles are able to follow each other more closely than human driven vehicles, so can, therefore, make more efficient use of space on the road.
Modelling urban and non-urban roads, the DfT computer programme was also able to gauge the effects autonomous or connected cars would have on journey times. It found that a road network of autonomous and connected cars would enjoy a 30.7% reduction in urban journey times during peak hours, while journeys on motorways and A-roads during peak hours would be 4.1% shorter.
The DfT research also simulated what traffic would be like if the UK road network had a mix of autonomous and human-driven vehicles. It found that traffic would reduce even if as little as 25% of cars were autonomous or connected.