Lately, there has been a lot of excitement about driverless cars. In addition to Silicon Valley, Texas is another place where many companies looking to develop autonomous vehicles are headed.
The interest in Texas is due to a new state law that allows Texas manufacturers to test autonomous vehicles on public roads and state highways. A program called “Milo” benefits from this law. Milo offers free transportation from special events, like sports games using autonomous shuttles that have 12 seats each. While an operator is present in these vehicles, he or she does not drive the shuttles.
The primary reason Texas is investing in driverless technology is safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 94 percent of car crashes are caused by human error. Of these crashes, 41 percent are attributable to recognition error, 33 percent to decision error and 11 percent to performance error.
Crashes are also responsible for many traffic jams. Driverless cars are expected to reduce the number of these crashes. Typical lane width and distance between cars could also shrink with driverless cars, therefore reducing congestion even further.
Twenty other states have passed laws similar to the new one in Texas. In the future, Texas could become the new center of autonomous automobile development.