Self-driving autonomous cars will almost certainly be more convenient.
But what if they become too convenient?
"Rebound is a possible negative side of autonomous [vehicles]," explains Jim Pisz from Toyota. "I think the utter convenience of autonomous vehicles will create additional miles being driven."
For example, imagine it’s midnight. You’re in your pajamas, watching television. Suddenly, you’re struck with an urge for ice cream. If you’re not in the mood to put on clothes and drive to the store, you’ll probably forgo the ice cream.
Pisz says that in a future with autonomous vehicles, “Now you could say, ‘Well, I’ll send the car to go get my ice cream.’”
"Will there be frivolous use of autonomous vehicles? I think there will be. That is rebound."
Pisz says Toyota and researchers at Carnegie Melon University have partnered to study the energy consumption of self-driving cars.
"Some of the initial work that they’re doing has shown that [autonomous cars] will have tremendous gains for saving energy," he explains. "But a good part of those gains… is offset by rebound."
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