Research suggests driverless cars have fewer crashes | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

Research suggests driverless cars have fewer crashes

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A new study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) in America has declared that self-driving cars have lower crash rates than conventional, human-driven cars.

The Driverless Transportation website reports that, the study involved examining “national crash data and data from naturalistic driving studies that closely monitors the on-road experience of 3,300 vehicles driving more than 34 million vehicle miles, to better estimate existing crash rates, and then compares the results to data from Google’s Self-Driving Car programme.”

According to the report, self-driving cars have a rate of 3.2 crashes per million of miles, where traditional human-driven cars have a rate of 4.2 crashes per million miles.  The study reportedly adjusted the data for unreported crashes, and takes into account the severity of the accidents.

The study’s authors assert that there is “statistically-significant data that suggest less severe events may happen at significantly lower rates for self-driving cars” than conventional vehicles.

However the site comments that early data may not be truly representative of the situation because self-driving cars have not yet been tested in varying weather conditions.

It has been less than two months since Ford began testing its self-driving prototypes in Michigan’s fierce winter weather, including snow and ice, at the Mcity testing grounds, although early findings from those tests have been positive, with executives saying that cars have performed well in such conditions.

The VTTI study was commissioned by Google, though the study’s authors say the findings are solely those of the institute.


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