Environmental Effects of Self-Driving Vehicles

Self- Driving Cars Could Help To Save Environment -Or Ruin It. Depends on Us is an article written via a New-York based environmental journalist Justin Worland for Times magazine. The article explores the potential benefits and shortcomings of self-driving cars that make them a controversial issue. The author points that the possible impact of self-driving cars depends merely on the methods people will choose to use them.
Worland presents the outcomes of the studies that suggest self-driving cars may both increase energy consumption by ninety percent or reduce it by 200 percent. Since extra than 25 percent of the gas emissions are the result of transport, the distinction matters significantly. According to an independent research funded via DOE, the biggest potential disadvantage of self-driving cars is the increase in a number of miles driven by each vehicle that is caused by the increased comfort of these vehicles (Worland). Moreover, taking the high parking fees into consideration, people might find it cheaper to make their cars drive constantly.
One of the obvious potential benefits of the self-driving vehicles is the decrease in their weight because of the reduced number of safety equipment items. However, the possibility of positive environmental influences mostly depends on policies and production process. Worland cites the example of cars programmed for choosing an efficient path, or federal law imposing a fine on vehicles without a passenger. All in all, the author concludes that research on the environmental impact of self-driving vehicles is a complex process and even the most sophisticated researchers cannot give a straight answer on what the consequences of self-driving cars would be (Worland). However, the key is for the cities to collaborate with environmentalists on addressing the issue.

Work Cited
Worland, Justin. “Self-Driving Cars Could Help Save The Environment-Or Ruin It. It Depends On Us”. Time.Com, 2016, http://time.com/4476614/self-driving-cars-environment/.

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