Are Self Driving Cars Dangerous?

That is correct! Humans have been found to be responsible for the majority of accidents involving self-driving cars in autopilot mode (Reisinger, 2018).

A visual depiction of how self driving cars detect vehicles to prevent accidents <https://www.roboticsbusinessreview.com/consumer/self-driving-car-features-to-know-before-you-get-behind-the-wheel/>

A study of vehicle accident reports in California from 2014 to 2018 found that 37 of 38 incidents while moving were caused by humans. 24 incidents were reported in autonomous mode while the car was stopped, unrelated to the self driving technology. Additionally, when not in autopilot mode, only 6 of 19 incidents were caused by self-driving technology (Reisinger, 2018). Perhaps the most notable self-driving vehicle incident occurred in May of 2016, in which a semi truck struck a Tesla in autopilot that failed to stop and resulted in the Tesla driver’s death. However, the official report from Florida police reveals that the blame is on the truck driver for not yielding the right of way. The company Tesla responded by clarifying that “Autopilot is a suite of technologies that operate in conjunction with the human driver to make driving safer and less stressful” (Stilgoe, 2017). Tesla boasts that their 2013 Model S received “the best safety rating of any car ever tested” and continually works to improve their crash prevention software¬†(Stilgoe, 2017). It is likely that if self-driving cars were used in Columbus, they would perform similarly to how they did in California, remaining relatively safe for all drivers.

 

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