18 May Can Self-Driving Vehicles Prevent Car Accidents?
Car and computer companies are teaming up to make vehicles that are capable of piloting themselves to destinations without drivers. Self-driving vehicles bring up many questions, such as: Can they reduce the number of car accidents?
Several tech companies and auto manufacturers have created vehicles that use an array of computers and laser-powered sensors to drive without a person behind the wheel. Developers claim that the vehicles have a more detailed understanding of surrounding conditions than humans, and faster reaction times.
Computers cannot fall asleep behind the wheel or drive under the influence of alcohol. According to the Tri-Level Study of the Causes of Traffic Accidents, 90 to 93 percent of car accidents are caused by human error.
Are Computers Better at Avoiding Car Accidents Than People Are?
Self-driving cars developed by Google have been touring the roads of California, a state that has allowed permits for companies to test them. Although the cars are capable of operating without a person, a driver remains behind the wheel in case anything goes wrong.
So far, two of the self-driving cars have been in minor accidents. Other companies have test-driven self-driving vehicles, and all claim to have had no accidents. It is too early to speculate if machines are better drivers than people are, but they do appear to make excellent warning systems.
Collision avoidance systems are already widely used in vehicles, and in some cases, the car can automatically apply brakes before hitting an object.
Due to the high-price of many of these vehicles, it will be a long time before an assessment can be made on whether they are better drivers than humans are.
Presently, humans are still in control of the roads, and people make mistakes. Car accidents that leave people with catastrophic injuries, or take family members away, are still a tragic and unfortunate part of our lives. Contacting an attorney can give options to accident survivors and grieving family members.
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