The World Health Organization estimates that each year, approximately 20 to 50 million people experience non-life threatening injuries in auto accidents. Nearly all of these accidents (at some level) are caused due to driver error. In recent years, it has been revealed that roughly 46 corporations (such as Tesla, Uber, and Toyota) are all working on some kind of driverless vehicle to help alleviate common road dangers. While a timeline has not yet been released as to when these vehicles will be launched, it is almost certain that this technology will begin to show up at dealerships in the near future.
Based on the latest reports, can we know for sure if these vehicles will indeed be safer? Will they actually reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur due to auto accidents each year? Take a look at what we know so far from the most recent reports.
What do current test safety records reveal?
In order to know if self-driving vehicles will affect your car insurance premiums or your overall safety while on the road, it is crucial to take a look at what testing has revealed thus far. While it was recently revealed that Apple’s self-driving car safety record is ultra secretive, other companies have been a bit more transparent with various sources. Despite several vehicle accidents that have occurred in recent years, some developers say that their vehicles could be ready by the end of 2020. The latest safety reports have also given some lawmakers in the state of Florida (United States) enough confidence to propose a law that would allow for no human safety driver to be behind the wheel.
What is needed to improve upon current test models?
Although much is not yet known about the specific technology behind self-driving cars, specific features have already been revealed. In February, one source stated that these vehicles will have the ability to pull over for police by themselves. Additionally, it is said that the driverless vehicles that are now being tested are gathering data during each trip. In fact, “self-driving prototypes today produce gigabytes of data about their location and road conditions every minute they’re on the road.” In order to turn the current test models into a viable vehicle option, more data gathering and safety enhancements will need to be added prior to launch.
Will self-driving cars eliminate the risks posed by standard vehicles?
From what we know now, it appears that the brief answer to this questions is eventually, ‘yes.’ While there is always the potential for human error (when driving and in the development of these cars), the latest reports appear to be promising for the future of self-driving vehicles. This will be especially true after driverless cars have been a mainstream option for several years.
In the coming year (which some developers have stated is about one year from some kind of launch), it will be exciting to see what additional details are released about these vehicles. Despite the fact that the launch of driverless technology will be done regionally, millions of people are likely a decade or so away from experiencing a new era of auto technology.