Thursday, May 22, 2008

Automatic cars 'slash journey times'

BBC News online has an interesting post about the future of cars - with developments in cars that are fully automatic. A new "self-driving car" has been developed in America which has the ability to drastically cut traffic jams by increasing the flow of traffic up to three times:

The car, which features revolutionary "drive-by-wire" systems which means the wheels are no longer connected to the steering wheel, was built by the University of California, Riverside's College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (Ce-Cert) and Dotmobil, a French company.

Matt Barth, from Ce-Cert, told BBC World Service's Digital Planet programme that the "human factor" is the primary cause of delays on road networks - and so his automatic car can promise vastly quicker journeys.

"We have a slow reaction time - a couple of seconds - and we have aggressive behaviour, which causes the stop-and-go action that we often come across," he said. "But if vehicles can talk to each other through wireless communication - and you have these control systems that can react more quickly than a human can - then you can smooth out traffic, and potentially get three times the amount of flow compared to a highway with manual drivers."

Read in full - 'Automatic cars 'slash journey times''

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