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New Study Analyzes Predicted Crash Rates for Self-Driving Vehicles

Published on Jun 8, 2020 at 7:25 am in Technology.

As the market and interest for autonomous vehicles continue to rise, there are often discussions regarding accident rates and how self-driving cars have the potential to reduce those numbers. Considering the majority of collisions are currently attributed to driver error, it’s a reasonable assumption that an autonomous vehicle could weed out problems like distractions, drunk driving, and more. A new study, however, predicts that the crash rates for self-driving vehicles will not be as low as we think.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), self-driving cars may only be able to prevent around one-third of all crashes: “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. 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 more accurate perception than human drivers and aren’t vulnerable to incapacitation.”

Essentially, while self-driving cars can account for some human error, it has yet to be seen if the technology can account for more complex, prediction-based scenarios. While a self-driving car may be able to avoid an accident a distracted or drunk driver would cause, the vehicle could still overcompensate a correction or fail to monitor a pedestrian or cyclist properly.

In order to prevent the remaining two-thirds of accidents, the IIHS believes autonomous vehicles will need to be specially programmed to deal with “predicting, decision-making and performance errors.” According to the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education (PAVE), however, the industry group finds fault with IIHS’s study. The group, which includes Ford, General Motors, Waymo, Daimler, Volkswagen, and other automotive industry leaders, claims that self-driving systems are already designed with safety being the primary focus.

With the IIHS study in mind, it’s clear the rideshare accidents claims won’t be going anywhere as autonomous vehicles become more widespread. If you’re involved with a rideshare accident and believe an Uber or Lyft driver or vehicle is to blame, the Rideshare Law Group can help. We represent crash victims on a nationwide basis, and we’ll evaluate your claim and help you determine how best to proceed to recover compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of filing a claim and what can be done to hold negligent drivers and companies accountable for their actions.