Self-driving cars projected to reduce injuries by 90 percent, save $450 billion annually

By Shawn Knight ยท 36 replies
Oct 24, 2013
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  1. Driver error is the number one cause of automobile crashes so what would happen if you removed humans from the equation? According to independent research by the Eno Center for Transportation, vehicle-related injuries would drop by 90 percent and save...

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  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,719   +3,697

    As long as they stayed between the lines, they would be safer than someone texting and driving.
  3. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    The problem with projections is that they are projections.
    SNGX1275 and psycros like this.
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,146   +911

    So who's fault is it when one of these computer controlled vehicles crashes into someone else? Or runs someone over? Or simply fails in some way?

    No No, I don't think so, What should be happening is making the test to pass harder and the theory harder, they should spend this money on really drumming in the cold hard truth that you CANNOT text and drive or use your phone and drive unless you have Bluetooth built in, and even then it should really only be used if needed not entire journeys.

    This just spells trouble in my eyes, sensors can get damaged or covered in mud, electronics DO fail, in fact, Electronics in cars are notorious for failing before anything mechanical does, if the electronics controls the mechanics? I cannot see this reducing anything other than some extremely strange court filings when families have no idea who to sue since it's a computers fault their little girl got ran over.
    psycros and cmbjive like this.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,870   +1,291

    Implementing and maintaining the infrastructure to make this work would cost far more than $450 billion a year. For a lot less money you could make people retake their driver's test when they renew their license every four years, hire more traffic cops, etc. Crazy, I know.
  6. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    And the savings is...1.6% of annual GDP. Given the U.S. govt's impeccable foresight into such matters, the consequent reduction in revenue from gas taxes, "death" taxes, medical taxes, and income taxes, would necessarily lead to said savings being erased by an increase in existing taxes or the creation of a new one, if not both.

    Now, economics aside, I'm all for people adopting self-driving cars. I prefer to drive manually and anything that eliminates congestion is a winner in my book.
  7. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Stronger licensing requirements is what we need. If driver error is the leading cause of accidents, fix the driver not the car. As for adding more cops... No. Not unless they're all sitting exclusively in school zones and intersections.
  8. Bring on the self driving cars. Only problem is that they'll be prohibitively expensive for at least 15 years but god I would love to own one. I drive 500+ miles a week, I'd love to be able to do something productive with that time. I stare out a windshield so much.

    Dear Google, my company will test a fleet of cars for you, free of charge.
  9. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 954   +515

    Remove the human (*cough*stupidity*cough*) element out of driving? Sounds fine to me (at least when they system is acceptable). Too many *****s on the road anyways...

    Edit: I didn't know id10t was considered a bad word -_-
  10. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    HR says it's hurtful.
  11. Consider this:

    If automated cars actually work, then there shouldn't be crashes. If that's the case, then we shouldn't need car insurance, or our premiums should be nearly nothing because of the low accident rate.

    If we need car insurance, then we're saying automated cars don't work, are infalliable, and potentially dangerous. In which case, why should they be on the road.

    So which is it?
  12. drjekel_mrhyde

    drjekel_mrhyde TS Rookie Posts: 101   +7

    Well I guess Mayhem will have a permanent on Law and Order SVU
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I cant trust self driving cars until they are secure and cannot be hacked.

    They need quantum encryption!

    Matthew, Jos and Ivan Franco like this.
  14. This would be great, there is no real infrastructure needed to make driver less cars a reality. Each car needs adequate sensors and programming to react to immediate threats. And for navigation each car could just use GPS systems to find ways around. I'm sure advanced sensors could keep cars in their correct lanes of traffic. Of course each car can switch to manual operation in circumstances where GPS is not available or other issues arise.
  15. Computers can never make predictions of dangerous situation. Two kids playing with a ball beside the road are just irrelevant objects to this computer, but a human might adjust his speed, just like he would do based on experience with the road, who live there, warning signs, the weight of his load, etc. We can also anticipate on drivers, based on their behavior, age, whether we had eye contact, the state of their car, the state of their load, etc.
    The Eno Center for Transportation also doesn't take into account non-American roads, which are often way more complicated to drive. Take the Google car and plant it cities like Amsterdam, Athens, Paris, Madeira, Istanbul, etc.... completely different world.

    Etc, etc, etc.

    Those numbers are just accurate as waving your finger in the air to measure what the weather is going to be tomorrow.
  16. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    Actually, a potential precedent to the legality of the self-driving car actually exists. Inevitably the fault is with the manufacturer. Much like with vaccine manufacturers. See vaccine manufacturers are protected from liability to an extent because the government considers the benefit too great. As long as vaccine manufacturers aren't negligent to the due diligence of testing a product and complying with regulations, they aren't held liable. The same could potentially apply to fully autonomous vehicles. The benefit is too great that we can't have fear of liability completely stop autonomous vehicle development in its tracks. Once the same precedent is applied to manufacturers, the insurance companies would need to be forced to apply some sort of no-fault insurance coverage policy. We need some kind of "for the greater good" policy to make autonomous vehicles insurance coverage possible.

    All cars break. You're saying that autonomous vehicles would have to have breaks that never fail, engines never blow, steering columns never break, tires that never blow before you'd consider them street worthy? I'm sorry your short-sightedness cannot see the vast vast benefit of having autonomous vehicles. As for logic errors, they aren't likely. The redundant sensors in current Autonomous vehicle design and the vigorous testing that entities like Google are doing, they are all to insure that its extremely unlikely that these machines will be anything less then extremely reliable logic-wise.
  17. thewind

    thewind TS Enthusiast Posts: 77

    The people who think this is dumb are the stupid ones! 1st if you have multiple safe profs such as if a sensor is not responding the car slows down to a stop and alerts the driver to take over! not hard! Duh! also google has done over 1,000,000 miles of testing!!!!!!!! of which only 1 car was in an accident and it was the other guys fault! It don't take a genius to know if you've driven that much you probably been in more than 1 accident! I myself have been in 12 accidents some my fault, most weren't! and I'm only 26! 2nd people say electronics fail! I have a 30 year old calculator that still knows 2+2=4! Point being is that people make electronics fail. Yes once in a while things do fail due to a compositor failing or something but theres things you can do to make those last even longer... So lets say the average car life is 18 years. Make sure the parts in the computer can last 30 and then have mandatory to be replaced at 20 years! IF a person has there car that long then can just have the parts updated! There's so simple answers for things. People try to make things way to complicated! and +1 for Scshadow! Loved the comment!
  18. What's the projected cost of 100% upgradation to the autonomous vehicle platform?

    What's the associated cost of 'fixing' all the traffic signals, maps etc perfectly and regularly maintaining them?
  19. Scshadow

    Scshadow TS Evangelist Posts: 511   +152

    The LIDAR is going to be the single most sophisticated and expensive device in the fully autonomous vehicle, but we really don't know for sure what it will cost by the time it enters mass production. My research didn't really go that far but I know the LIDAR currently used in google's vehicles are around $70,000 alone. Needless to say, the dependability of these Sensors has to be of a grade far higher then what anyone knows in our day to day lives.

    As for "fixing" our roads, we don't. They're ready. GPS maps are merely a guideline to actual navigating which will be calculated in real time, with real time readings from the LIDAR radar. The traffic lights aren't even close to being a problem. One of the few problems left to work the kinks out is properly reading hand signals if a human being is redirecting traffic but that was a year ago at least. Pretty sure that would have been refined by now. By comparison regular traffic lights are absolutely nothing to interpret correctly.
  20. Wendig0

    Wendig0 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,136   +131

    So, will I still need a designated driver when I go to bars/clubs? Will I still get a DUI if my car is doing the driving?
  21. I think a self driving car would be great for me. I am too impatient. I'm too confident and end up speeding and having road rage. While in 20 years driving I have never had an accident (apart from my car bottoming out during a snow storm), I have received many speeding tickets. Less speeding tickets, and less stress would be a good thing. Plus I could get things done while my car drives me to where I want to go. Definitely a win win for me.
  22. My personal experience/observations contradicts the theory that electronics fails first. Electronic failures are expensive to fix, therefore you may remember them better, but they are less frequent than 10% of all failures.
  23. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,146   +911

    You replied with the above about Car Insurance, Car Insurance does NOT cover servicing and Brake pads or anything like that, Car Insurance covers you when you land in a ditch or run someone off the road or some else runs you off the road, Car Maintenance is purely down to the driver.

    To everyone above me, Please note I do see the usefulness of Autonomous cars and how they COULD work, but the fact you need Insurance implies they expect these things to run people off the road.

    Car Maintenance is also a factor, some people just don't look after their cars properly, they are going to fail and it will be the drivers fault.

    I'd also like to add, have you seen how expensive car Services already are on cars filled with Electronics?! This will also drive up Servicing Prices Massively.

    Edit: These Types of cars will work when they are fully Electric Powered and not Gasoline and all roads are fitted with equipment to help the car navigate. Until then, they are still dangerous.
    davislane1 likes this.
  24. H3llion

    H3llion TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,377   +286

    This is the future. Better implement such infrastructure earlier then later.
  25. amstech

    amstech IT Overlord Posts: 1,936   +1,101

    Maybe in good weather conditions. On sleet/snow/black ice etc covered roads they will be much more dangerous.

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