Do self-driving vehicles really make traffic safer?

May 23, 2018 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Do self-driving vehicles really make traffic safer?
A study examines the effects of autonomous vehicles on road safety and their cyber risks. Not in every case road safety is increased by automating driving, the researchers say.

Automated vehicles promise more safety by eliminating human error as the cause of accidents, claim technology companies across the automotive value chain. However, a study by the International Transport Forum (ITF) makes it clear that self-propelled cars could prevent 90% of all fatal accidents. The ITF is an intergovernmental organisation and serves as a think tank for transport policy.

The ITF experts warn above all against unclear responsibilities in the vehicle: If robots and humans share responsibility for controlling a vehicle, this leads to even more complex driving decisions than before. The consequence could be that driving becomes less safe instead of safer. Especially in situations in which people take control of the vehicle from the computer, accidents can increasingly occur in particular with "average", risk-averse drivers.


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