Once self-driving cars establish themselves on the roads, some experts believe that they can save up to 300,000 lives per decade. As car manufacturers continue to develop new technological features, the future of car transportation has never looked safer. Autonomous vehicles provide preventative measures by reducing drunk driving and human mistakes, but improvements to the vehicles themselves also keep travelers safe in the event that they end up in a collision. With this combination of preventative measures and improved safety features, self-driving cars have put driver safety at the forefront of development.
Reducing the Human Error
One of the key factors that manufacturers are focusing their efforts on involve completely eliminating human error from the equation. Studies have shown that 94% of all accidents on the road are a result of some form of human error. The new technology that companies are implementing hopes to completely automate the driving process. This is achieved through an intricate network of sensors, GPS, mechanical engineering, and lane assistance, which all help power and guide the car, but also make it aware of any potential dangers that surround it. This includes other drivers, barriers and obstacles in its path, and even bad weather.
In addition to these features, people will still have the option to take the wheel when they feel it’s necessary. This option is paramount for people to feel completely safe behind the wheel, because despite the unmistakable benefits of automation, psychologists believe that it’s still important for humans to exercise discretion while on the road. Since this new technology is still in its infancy, accidents are bound to happen. Providing people with the option to take the reins from the automation is still a valuable safety option to protect the driver if necessary.
A Changing World
Perhaps the greatest barrier to overcome in order for the full integration of self-driving cars is figuring out how the rest of society will work around this new safety technology. Policing the roads is sure to change as it will be difficult to determine fault for a traffic violation if the car is autonomous. Police departments all over the world are scrambling to figure out how to pull over, search, or monitor illegal activity inside an autonomous vehicle. Determining just how much power the police have to stop these vehicles will likely be a political public safety debate for the near future.
Clear answers are difficult to find in other auto-related industries as well. There’s no doubt that people will need to be insured in case an accident occurs, however the terms and conditions of these policies will have to adapt to the new form of technology. In order to recognize the full potential of a driverless society, the rest of the community and infrastructures will need to make significant changes, which may take several years.
There’s no denying the world-changing safety features that autonomous vehicles can provide on the roads. From preventative technology to features that can keep you safe in a collision. these cars are bound to save thousands of lives. There are, however, some concerns among industry leaders that realize the ripple effects self-driving cars will have throughout the rest of society. It’s clear by now that if we want autonomous vehicles to keep us safer on the roads, it will take a community-wide effort across all regions of the world to make it happen.