New vehicles these days come with more autonomous features than ever, from lane assist to adaptive cruise control and more. In fact, fully autonomous vehicles are in the works, and may one day be seen on Tennessee roads. It is hoped that by eliminating human error through autonomous vehicles there will be fewer motor vehicle accidents. However, a study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that autonomous vehicles may not be as safe as we wish.
According to the study, approximately two-thirds of collisions would still happen even if all vehicles on the road were fully autonomous. Per the study, currently nine of ten crashes involving human drivers are attributable to human error. However, around two-thirds of those crashes would still take place if the vehicles were autonomous, even though autonomous vehicles have a more accurate perception compared to people and are not subject to incapacitation. The study reports that to prevent car accidents, autonomous vehicles should be designed with safety in mind over rider preference.
The study does note, however, that autonomous vehicles perform well when it comes to low visibility on the roadway, roadway hazards and they can prevent distracted or drunk driving. However, these types of collisions only account for around one-third of motor vehicle accidents.
In the end, there is still work that has to be done on the automated vehicle front. We should not blindly trust that these vehicles will prevent all motor vehicle accidents. While autonomous vehicles do prevent some crashes, they are not infallible.