Are self driving cars safer than humans? A new poll shows that two-thirds of Americans say that they would sacrifice themselves in an autonomous vehicle crash to save a human. However, only a tiny number of people will be in that situation. Among US residents, only 16% would be comfortable with fully autonomous vehicles driving, while 75% of voters want Congress to put the brakes on driverless cars. Until then, it will be our job to ask ourselves these questions: Are self-driving cars safer than humans?
Autonomous vehicles obey traffic laws better than humans
A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that autonomous vehicles obey traffic laws better than humans. The study examined more than 5,000 crashes, and separated those caused by “sensing and perception” errors and “incapacitation” by human drivers. Autonomous vehicles should avoid such errors, as they can recognize hazards better than humans. In addition, self-driving vehicles will avoid distractions, which may be a contributor to human crashes.
Researchers from Volvo and Mercedes have noticed that some human drivers behave aggressively around their autonomous vehicles. Therefore, they are not going to follow common practice by clearly labeling their test vehicles on public roads. Instead, they will leave some of these vehicles unmarked, and will instead collect data on how humans react to the autonomous vehicles. These developments aim to standardize human expectations and better predict human behaviour. But the real question is: How will autonomous vehicles behave in real life?
To make AVs comply with traffic laws, researchers must consider their ethical and legal requirements. While it is possible to use AI & Law to design AVs, we have not yet addressed these challenges. In this paper, we examine Dutch traffic law and its implications for the design of fully autonomous self-driving cars. We will also explore how existing AI & Law techniques can be applied to the problem of AV compliance.
They obey traffic laws better than humans
A McKinsey study estimates that 90% of car crashes could be prevented by autonomous vehicles. This reduction would mean $190 billion in yearly damages and thousands of lives saved. Autonomous cars are programmed to obey traffic laws, never text while driving, or fall asleep while driving. Their 360-degree vision gives them a better view of road conditions and can process much more information than humans can. That’s one of the main benefits of self-driving cars.
Autonomous vehicles also help police officers avoid confrontations with people. The use of these cars would prevent police officers from pulling over a Black driver who may be speeding or otherwise violating traffic laws. Despite this potential benefit, police officers have been fatally shot when confronting Black male drivers. In one such incident, Maurice Gordon was shot and killed by a police officer while driving over 100 miles per hour on the Garden State Parkway. Another fatality occurred when a police officer approached Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s drive-through.
The technology is becoming increasingly more advanced, with more autonomous vehicles on the road. While they may speed or break minor traffic laws, these vehicles are programmed to follow the rules of the road. The way Waymo vehicles operate is based on an extremely detailed internal map that takes into account different road features and posted speed limits. As a result, they may not be as alert as human drivers. However, these vehicles still obey traffic laws better than humans do.