London is said to be suffering from a congestion headache, and besides being very aggravating trying to get across town, it means businesses are being hit too – time wasted behind the wheel could equal £42 billion over the next decade, according to the Evening Standard today.
If driverless cars ever become a reality, that downtime could be ploughed into laptop work, facetime calls and more DRIVETRIBING but that's a while off yet. Perhaps some of these could ease the pain for now:
1) Intelligent car parking. Imagine a world where everyone was able to access their dashboard interface and select parking spots from a wide choice available across the city in real time. Traffic monitoring systems would then advise you on the most efficient route. Select the car parking location and space you want, and take the hassle out of looking for vacant bays or cruising residential streets.
2) Big data. Picture this: every car on the road sending its location to one central organisation which then uses it to improve road layouts, traffic flow and congestion hotspots. Car companies would do well to join forces on data gathering, and stop the likes of Google and Apple taking their share of drivers' information. Or we could leave it up to local councils?
3) Driver aids. Waiting for some people to park can take light-years. Self-parking cars would mean people get out of your way quicker and traffic can get moving again. Fortunately, these systems are already in place - just not on all vehicles, yet.
Finally, what else could speed us all up... lane assistants for passing through tricky width restrictions, intelligent traffic lights, faster incident response? Connected cars are the answer and the next few years will be an amazing time for this growing part of the car industry.