Self-Driving Cars Could Benefit—or Hurt—the Environment,

Ask the automakers and tech companies trying to build cars that drive themselves to defend their work, and they turn to two key arguments: Autonomous cars will save lives, and, by eliminating the need for a human driver, they’ll open the car to new uses and users.Less frequently invoked, but equally integral to that vision of a safer, more comfortable world, is efficiency—which is to say, less environmental impact that your old, dumb, gasoline-powered ride. But a report the Center for American Progress released today undermines that assumption. “It could go either way,” says Myriam Alexander-Kearns, one of the authors.Alexander-Kearns and her co-authors say no one can know what robot cars’ environmental impact will be without first answering three questions: How will automation affect total vehicle miles traveled, how will it impact congestion, and how efficient will the vehicles be?

Source: Self-Driving Cars Could Benefit—or Hurt—the Environment, Report Says | WIRED

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