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Study: Self-Driving Cars Can’t Prevent Common Accidents!

Jun 9, 2020 | News, Blog, Motor Vehicle Accident, Personal Injury

Study: Self-Driving Cars Can’t Prevent Common Accidents!

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted a study in regards to self-driving motor vehicles and their ability to be able to predict scenarios and account for all likely outcomes on the road. Here’s a little of what they had to say:

On Driver Error:

“According to a national survey of police-reported crashes, driver error is the final failure in the chain of events leading to more than 9 out of 10 crashes.

On Automated Vehicles Expecting Mistakes:

But the Institute’s analysis suggests that only about a third of those crashes were the result of mistakes that automated vehicles would be expected to avoid simply because, they have a more accurate perception than human drivers and aren’t vulnerable to incapacitation.

On Automated Vehicles Prediction Abilities:

The remaining two-thirds might still occur unless autonomous vehicles are specifically programmed to avoid other types of predicting, decision-making, and performance errors.”

To put it simply, self-driving motor vehicles can most certainly account for partial human error, however, they cannot yet account for a more robust scenario.

Most recently, a 49-year-old woman from Tempe, AZ named Elaine Herzberg was sadly struck and killed by a self-driving Uber vehicles.

How did this occur you may ask? Well, Herzberg was simply walking her bicycle across the street in front of the vehicle, a situation that the self-driving car was unable to recognize and ultimately could not avoid, leading to her death.

The Industry Responds in a Blog Post

Industry group Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), a group of which is made up of the likes of Ford, General Motors (GM), Waymo, Lyft, Daimler, Volkswagen, and more pushed back on what researchers found, calling their viewpoints into question.

In a recent blog post, the group noted that self-driving systems are currently being designed with safety as the primary focus, they went on to say:

“In the ‘discussion’ section, the study’s authors write ‘Only about a third of serious crashes could be preventable by AVs if they are not designed to respond safely to what they perceive,’ which is a bit like saying that a marble won’t roll very far if it’s not round.”

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