Source: University of Michigan
The benefits of self-driving cars will likely induce vehicle owners to drive more, and those extra miles could partially or completely offset the potential energy-saving benefits that automation may provide, according to a new study.
In the coming years, self-driving cars are expected to yield significant improvements in safety, traffic flow and energy efficiency. In addition, automation will allow vehicle occupants to make productive use of travel time.
Previous studies have shown that greater fuel efficiency induces some people to travel extra miles, and those added miles can partially offset fuel savings. It's a behavioral change known as the rebound effect.
The ability to use in-vehicle time productively in a self-driving car, people can work, sleep, watch a movie, read a book, will likely induce even more travel
Taken together, those two sources of added mileage could partially or completely offset the energy savings provided by autonomous vehicles, according to a team of researchers at the U-M School for Environment and Sustainability.