Automated vehicles have lower crash rates

Automated Vehicles Have Lower Crash Rates, New Research Reveals

The roads will likely never be completely rid of car accidents and the auto insurance claims that follow. No one is perfect, not even machines, as anyone who uses a computer knows all too well. Nevertheless, should self-driving cars ever become mainstream, the roads would almost certainly be a great deal safer, according to a recent report.

Researchers from Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have concluded that when autonomous vehicles are compared to conventional automobiles, crash rates for self-driving cars tend to be lower.

Accident rate 25% lower
In terms of specific numbers, VTTI analysts determined that among traditionally operated cars, the overall collision rate was approximately 4.2 crashes for every 1 million miles traveled. But among cars that experts say are the wave of the future, the crash rate was 3.2 per million miles.

Furthermore, even when car crashes do occur among fully or partially autonomous vehicles, the seriousness of said accidents are less severe, VTTI analysts concluded. At the same time, though, more analysis needs to be done before this determination can be said with certitude.

“As self-driving cars continue to be tested and increase their exposure, the uncertainty in their event rates will decrease,” researchers wrote.

The full details of the report can be found at VTTI’s website by visiting here.

$4 billion invested over next decade to accelerate development
Today’s automobiles have never been safer, as many come standard with protections like brake assist and forward-collision monitoring. As technology continues to develop over time, the U.S. government is investing in research that will help further the goal of making accidents history – or at least as close to history as humanly possible. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a 10-year, $4 billion investment to expedite the development of automated vehicles.

“We are on the cusp of a new era in automotive technology with enormous potential to save lives, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and transform mobility for the American people,” said Anthony Foxx, DOT secretary. “[These] actions and those we will pursue in the coming months will provide the foundation and the path forward for manufacturers, state officials, and consumers to use new technologies and achieve their full safety potential.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which operates under the DOT, says that in six months’ time, federal officials will work with lawmakers at the state level to come up with policies on automated vehicle usage in the 21st century and beyond.

There’s a great big open road of possibilities when it comes to the era of automation, with no one knowing for sure where the path will lead to. One thing is certain, though: Auto insurance will be needed.

Kevin Post

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