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Computers That Power Self-Driving Cars Could Drive Global Carbon Emissions

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Researchers say 1 billion autonomous vehicles driving for an hour a day would generate approximately the same amount of emissions as datacenters currently do.

Credit: Christine Daniloff/MIT

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found the computational needs of self-driving cars could drive a significant increase in global carbon emissions.

The researchers developed a statistical model to analyze the potential energy consumption and related carbon emissions that would accompany widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles.

The model revealed that 1 billion autonomous vehicles driving one hour daily with a computer consuming 840 watts would generate emissions on par with that of global datacenters, which the International Energy Agency said account for around 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Said MIT's Vivienne Sze, "The energy consumption of an autonomous vehicle is critical, not just for extending battery life, but for sustainability."

From National Science Foundation
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Abstracts Copyright © 2023 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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