Let’s face it—the future is now. With our phones becoming touch screen mini computers, and the Artificial Intelligence revolution just around the corner, there is no doubt that we have entered a booming time for technology. No sector of business is or will be untouched by all of the advances, and that includes the automobile industry. Self-driving cars have been an idea for longer than they have even been worked on (think Sci-fi movies), but now it is becoming inevitable that sometime in the near future they will be a part of our reality. While most people get wrapped up in the futuristic hype of self-driving cars, it is good to look at the real life influences they will have on society and the people owning them. One area that will be affected is the amount of money spent on gas mileage, and there are a few reasons why.
A large part of whether or not a person’s car has good gas mileage actually has to do with that individual person and what kind of driver they are. The human element of driving contributes a lot to the consumption of gasoline by the car. Speeding or other extreme changes in velocity (such as suddenly breaking) are gas inefficient behaviors that the majority of human drivers engage in everyday. Not to mention other factors such as getting lost and taking a longer route than is needed or maintenance issues like neglecting upkeep and regular tune-ups.
Though the maintenance issues would not inherently be addressed by the appearance of self-driving cars, the areas of human error in driving would be. A self-driving vehicle would efficiently monitor and choose its speed for optimum output and gas usage, and the problem of road rage, which in terms of gas mileage can be wallet-draining, would become obsolete. Built-in GPS would also nearly eliminate the issue of taking longer routes or getting lost, so that is another area where money would be saved. Of course some vehicles, based on how they are built, start off with having poor gas mileage regardless of how careful and conscientious the driver is. However, buying such a car would not incur a bigger future investment due to high gas consumption because of poor driving behaviors. Thus, every type of car owner would see improvements in their car’s fuel economy if that car were able to drive itself.
Gas mileage, even in the coming age of self-driving cars, will continue to be a factor one should pay attention to when deciding what kind of car they want to own. Unless the future also sees cars becoming entirely electric or fueled by another source, the aspect of gas mileage is here to stay. However, as new technology hits the automobile industry and other sectors closely related, the way that the topic of fuel economy is viewed will change. There may become more choice for the consumer on what kind of car they want to own because the listed miles per gallon will be exactly as it says. No human error to lower the score—just safe, smooth, money-saving driving.