What you should know about self-driving car safety

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What you should know about self-driving car safety

Many have predicted that self-driving vehicles will be sold in 2020. With the end of the timeline quickly approaching, many are concerned about whether these vehicles are as safe as some have claimed. Some of the claims for self-driving vehicles fault humans, saying that they are prone to error. By removing drivers and their mistakes, the road will be a safer place. Driver mistakes are responsible for 90 percent of crashes in the United States. Self-driving car advocates suggest that 80 percent of collisions will be eliminated once self-driving cars are on the road. Barrie Kirk, executive director of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence, shared that with sensors that give you a 360-scan, 30 times a second, “humans don’t even come close.” Driverless vehicles also give opportunity those with disabilities, seniors and others unable to drive. Families may even need less vehicles if the vehicles can take itself from one owner to the next.

There are several others who have an opposing opinion on the matter. Steve Shladover, who has studied driver-less vehicles for four decades, says that the current automated vehicles do not come close to having the safety capability as claimed. There are different levels of automated vehicles, ranging from adaptive cruise control to fully automated. Shladover believes that we are nowhere close to fully automated. Another factor is the fact that automated vehicles will give out faster than a driver would. All current technology such as laptops, TVs, cellphones run great, but eventually they fail after a few years. Consumers cannot update a vehicle as they do with their iPhone and MacBook.

Shladover points out that it is important to consider how driverless vehicles will interact with a human filled world. Pedestrians, animals, cyclist and more can affect a driver. Even with sensors, an automated vehicle may not know to break when a ball bounces in the road because a child may be following after it. There are numerous hazards driver-less vehicles may not detect or perceive as a human would.

There will also be a period where automated vehicles and human drivers will be on the road together. This period could actually make the roads “less safe” than they are currently. Humans will be unable to interact with driverless vehicles the way they do with human eye contact, lights, etc.

Although driverless vehicles have many benefits, there are far more concerns. Before new technology can be introduced, safety must be established

Source: CBC News

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