As a driver, you’ve probably heard about the millions of crashes that occur every year in the U.S. You’ve also probably heard that self-driving cars will eventually reduce this number by eliminating human error from the equation, but what you might not know is that autonomous cars are actually involved in very few accidents so far. Here’s why:
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating an incident involving a Tesla Model S hitting a stopped fire truck on a California freeway.
The NTSB is investigating an incident involving a Tesla Model S hitting a stopped fire truck on a California freeway. The car was in Autopilot mode at the time of impact, and it’s believed that its driver’s hands were off the wheel for 8 seconds before impact.
The accident occurred on July 1st on Interstate 405 near Irvine, California when an autonomous vehicle operated by Tesla collided with another vehicle that had stopped after being hit by another car (that one wasn’t self-driving). According to police reports, when officers arrived at the scene they found “no injuries [to] any occupants”–but both vehicles had sustained significant damage; fortunately no passengers were hurt either!
Tesla says the car was in Autopilot mode, while firefighters say the driver’s hands were off the wheel for eight seconds before impact.
A Tesla driver died in a crash last week, and the company says its Autopilot system was engaged at the time. But it’s unclear whether that system was responsible for the crash or if other factors were involved.
Tesla has said its vehicles have been able to avoid collisions in cases where drivers failed to respond appropriately to warnings from their cars’ sensors–but this isn’t one of those cases. According to firefighters on the scene, who spoke with Bloomberg, there was no warning given: The driver’s hands were off of his wheel for eight seconds before impact; he never applied brakes or tried evasive maneuvers; and his car didn’t brake until less than one second before impact (which might not be enough time).
About 1.2 million accidents occur in the United States every year; about 37,000 of them involve multiple injury claims and about 2,000 result in death.
You’re driving along and you see a car coming toward you. You know it’s going to hit yours, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Your life flashes before your eyes: all the moments that made up who you were and what shaped who you are today. Then everything goes black as your body crumples against the steering wheel and slides down into oblivion.
The scene above is one from an autonomous vehicle (AV) accident simulation tool developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this particular scenario–and most others involving AVs–the driverless car would likely have been able to avoid colliding with another vehicle if given enough time to react correctly; however, real-world crashes rarely unfold according to script and often result in serious injury or death even when both parties involved are obeying traffic laws perfectly well at all times prior theretofore unknown fatal flaw has been discovered within their codebase which could cause catastrophic failure mode resulting in multiple fatalities due either directly or indirectly due failure mode itself being triggered by external factors such as environmental conditions like rain water flooding engine compartment causing fire hazard which leads us back down rabbit hole again…
About 40 percent of those involved vehicles turning left or right on a two-way street or highway.
If you’re like me, when you think about autonomous cars and their potential to save lives and make our roads safer, your mind immediately goes to scenarios like this:
A car is driving down a two-lane road when it sees another vehicle approaching from the opposite direction. The two cars are on a collision course; if neither driver swerves or brakes in time, they will crash into each other head-on. The self-driving vehicle has no choice but to slam on its breaks and avoid being hit by the other car. But now there’s an ambulance coming up behind it–and since autonomous vehicles don’t drive fast enough yet (that’s why they need humans), they can’t stop quickly enough before hitting that ambulance too!
This kind of situation happens all the time–in fact, according to statistics from NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), about 40 percent of those involved vehicles turning left or right on a two-way street or highway were rear ended by other drivers who had stopped suddenly for some reason (the most common being pedestrians stepping into traffic).
Only 5 percent of crashes involve rear-end collisions or head-on collisions, and only 0.6 percent result from striking an object where there is no possibility of evasive action being taken by the driver.
You’ve probably heard of a lot of things that can go wrong with your car. You know that if you hit another vehicle or object, it could be fatal. But have you ever heard of an autonomous vehicle having an accident? If so, how often does it happen?
In 2018 there were 382 million registered vehicles in the United States–that’s about one for every two Americans! And yet only 5 percent of crashes involve rear-end collisions or head-on collisions (where there is no possibility for evasive action), and only 0.6 percent result from striking an object where there is no possibility for evasive action being taken by the driver.
But what about those other types of crashes? Well… unfortunately we don’t have any data on this yet because autonomous cars haven’t been around long enough to collect much information on them; however, it’s safe to assume they’re even less common than rear-end collisions and head-ons.
Autonomous cars have not been involved in many crashes yet because they are new and humans still drive most cars.
Most accidents happen because of human error, and autonomous cars are still very new. The technology itself has been around for decades, but it wasn’t until recently that automakers were able to put them on the road in large numbers.
While there have been some minor fender benders involving self-driving vehicles (like this one), they haven’t yet caused any serious injuries or deaths–and that’s something we should all be thankful for!
Still, as more people get behind the wheel of these cars and rack up more miles on their odometers, they will inevitably get involved in more crashes than their human counterparts.
Autonomous cars are still very new, and humans still drive most cars. There have been only a few crashes involving autonomous vehicles so far, but the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating one of them right now.