The rising tide of self-driving vehicles is sure to disrupt the transportation world, with some experts predicting 10 million driverless cars will be on the road by 2020. While there’s little doubt that this technology is the way of the future, there are concerns over their safety, and whether or not they’re being pushed into the mainstream too soon. With all of the incredible new technology being developed this year, it can be easy to overlook certain safety aspects of driverless cars, however there’s evidence to suggest that self-driving vehicles will be able to work out the kinks sooner rather than later.
Is Driving Safe to Begin With?
When examining the safety risks that self-driving cars impose, it’s important to use our current standards of driving safety as a means of measurement. Currently, about 1.25 million people are killed around the world each year due to auto accidents, with around 50 million injuries. Many of these accidents occur as a result of human error like drunk and distracted driving. The idea behind driverless cars is that it will eliminate human error from the equation in making our roads safer. It’s estimated that self-driving cars have the potential to reduce traffic fatalities by a staggering 75% worldwide – which would save hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Now there’s still a long way to go before these cars can be fully integrated into the roadways, thus utilizing their full potential, but as more driverless cars hit the roads, the safer they should be.
A Shaky Transition
Some experts still have concerns when it comes to the logistics of transitioning to a driverless society. The various number of autonomous car companies have inconsistent standards, and may be too reliant on computerization. Other concerns revolve around poor road conditions and infrastructure. In order for autonomous cars to reach their full potential, a major overhaul of most roadways will likely be necessary. Regardless of these looming roadblocks, virtually everyone in the transportation field recognizes the life saving potential of self-driving cars. Not to mention that it will likely have a significant impact on the way people research vehicle performance and safety specifications, thus impacting virtually any industry that is associated with car transportation.
There are a number of factors to take into account when safely transitioning the world over to autonomous vehicles. It’s fair to assume that there will unfortunately be some amount of harm and mistakes involved when these cars being to increase their presence on the road, but all signs point to the positives heavily outweighing the negatives in the long run. Nevertheless, the future of driving is coming, and all we all have a chance to make the world safer on the roads than ever before.