Sunday, May 13, 2007

Smart Cars? Why Not Smart Drivers?

'Intelligent' cars fitted with sensors to predict traffic flow can deliver the same fuel efficiency as hybrid vehicles, a new study shows.

[...] 'intelligent' cars are conventional vehicles fitted with sensors and receivers called telematics, which work in a network, swapping information about the traffic ahead.

This traffic information is then relayed to the car to stop the vehicle or slow it down so that the ride is smooth, avoiding the stop-start phenomenon that drains fuel.


They calculated that a hybrid version of the car would deliver fuel economy of 15-25% over the unconverted vehicle.

But this saving was matched when the benchmark car was fitted with basic telematics that predicted traffic flows as little as seven seconds ahead, as determined by Australian driving conditions. [link]

Wouldn't smarter drivers be just as effective as smarter cars? Wouldn't that be cheaper, too? The only way to get drivers to drive more smoothly is to have a computerized car override their bad decisions? How sad. And if we're going that route, maybe the car should refuse to start at all during peak traffic hours.

It is possible to get better mileage simply by changing driving habits. See Hypermiling.

1 comment:

douglikespatti said...

Unfortunately, that would mean REQUIRING drivers to actually pay attention to their driving. As a motorcycle owner and an attentive driver I find this to not be the case.

We are quickly going the way of "guided private mass transit". I'm not sure that's a bad thing...