If human error is, in fact, responsible for over 90% of serious road accidents then it seems reasonable to surmise that an autonomous vehicle is safer than a vehicle driven by a person.
Nevertheless, as technology focuses on solutions for the challenge of developing AV’s that can see around obstacles, anticipate, or detect unexpected movements from other drivers or pedestrians, or react correctly to unusual situations or circumstances, the roll out of self-driving cars continues to face hurdles.
It makes sense, then, to consider how technology can also improve the roads that the self-driving cars will drive on. Smart upgrades to the road infrastructure using AI could be another feature to improve road safety in general.
Currently, we use a road system that was designed and built long before the idea of self-driving cars was anything other than science fiction, and this is the infrastructure with which we learn to drive.
While drivers are alerted by their training and senses whether to drive or not, self-driving cars have to be alerted through radio or phone signals which means that smart roads may be important for AV technology to advance.
For example, smart infrastructure could transmit necessary information to self-driving cars prior to their arrival at a junction or traffic lights, quickly, or even provide an aerial view.
If innovative smart road tech develops at speed, so will the speed with which self-driving vehicles could be present on the road, providing improved safety, efficiency and comfort while reducing congestion in a way that could revolutionise the current transport infrastructure.
Smart vehicles might need smart roads.
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