Affordable driverless cars could curb public transit

Cars as we know them simply aren’t great for the environment. As we slowly steer towards a future with a substantial number of driverless cars on the road, some researchers say it is about time to consider some of the impacts flocks of new autonomous vehicles could have on the environment.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin Madison asked over 800 local residents in the Madison metropolitan area to assess their attitudes towards using autonomous vehicles in the future and found that study respondents would be interested in using a driverless car about 31 percent of the time, a significant chunk more than taking the bus. Wissam Kontar, a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin Madison and lead study author, says that with growing popularity and industry investment in autonomous vehicles, that this “excitement” may be “overshadowing potential environmental impacts.”