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Self-driving cars projected to reduce injuries by 90 percent, save $450 billion annually

Stashed in: Cars!, Awesome, Self-driving Cars, Economics, My Cold Dead Fingers, Insurance

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Driver error is the number one cause of automobile crashes so what would happen if you removed humans from the equation? According to independent research by the Eno Center for Transportation, vehicle-related injuries would d rop by 90 percent and save the US economy roughly $450 billion each year.

The group discovered that 40 percent of fatal crashes in the US involved alcohol, drugs, fatigue or distraction – all metrics that wouldn’t affect an autonomous vehicle. Even in cases where a vehicle is primarily responsible for an accident, human elements like not paying attention and speeding often contributed to the occurrence of crashes and / or the severity of injuries.

The adoption rate of self-driving vehicles among consumers will of course play a big role in how many accidents can be avoided and how much money the economy could save. For example, if one in every 10 car was replaced with an autonomous vehicle, it would reduce crashes and subsequent injuries by roughly half and save around $25 billion each year.

To realize 90 percent safer roads as mentioned in the introduction, an equal 90 percent adoption rate would be necessary while hitting the $450 billion savings mark would require nearly 100 percent adoption.

Several self-driving cars are in the works from the likes of Google, Mercedes, Nissan and Toyota but thus far, the high cost of necessary components and lack of general regulations have only helped to slow down progress. It’ll eventually happen but it’s just a matter of how long it will take.

I'm confused. Why would there be any injuries if cars drove themselves?

Shouldn't the injury rate effectively go to zero?

At 100% adoption rate, yes, but this article mentions a 90% adoption rate.

Ah. I'm in favor of making it the law that every car needs to be self-driving by (insert date).

2020? I wish. 2025? It's possible. 2030? More likely.

I wonder if existing cars can be retrofitted to become self-driving? I'm guessing they can.

Which industries will self-driving cars disrupt?

Insurance companies for sure, but also likely many others.

What will we lose cognitively when we don't have to "solve the problems" of driving?

There will still be driving video games and NASCAR for those who really WANT to drive.

We gain more than we lose if most people stop driving.

Dudes, I'm all for better society... but do I really have to give up driving my Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce top-down through Austin hill country on beautiful Fall days?  



Maybe they'll initiate a driving permitting system, like for hunting/fishing .....

We already have driver permits and licenses.  Maybe you mean charging on a per taking basis, like for the privilege of passing other cars or weaving through slower traffic... heh heh.  

Even at a penny per car passed that would quickly become unaffordable for me.

Like for hunting/fishing, where and when there are designated places and times to drive "in the wild" among others who have paid for the privilege.

Dammit.  I drive a VW GTI and I don't want to give *that* up,!

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