Could Car Crashes be Eliminated by Autonomous Vehicle Technology?
Ninety percent of all car accidents in the United States could be prevented through mass adoption of self-driving vehicles, thus sparing the nation $190 billion in healthcare costs and property damage, reports a new study from consulting firm McKinney & Co.
After conversations with several industry experts, the investigators anticipate widespread adoption of autonomous vehicles within 15 years
and preliminary enactments early next decade. Some industry executives, such as Tesla Motors Inc.’s Elon Musk, believe fully autonomous cars will be a reality in as little as five years. In fact, some auto manufacturers, such as GM and Renault SA, are working on autonomous vehicles and offering features that allow software to control more functions of automobiles.
Technology moguls, such as Google, Inc.
and Uber Technologies Inc., and automotive trendsetters, such as Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz, are concentrating more and more on autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles. It is their foresight that is setting a new precedent in an industry clambering to improve the safety of their products. Widespread introduction of autonomous vehicles to the market could have the most significant impact toward that goal. Could car crashes be eliminated by autonomous vehicle technology?
In the U.S. automotive industry, induction of the most advanced safety features into vehicles has taken off slowly but is growing steadily, according to WardsAuto.com
, a leading authoritative web site concerning automotive information. For instance, the 2014 model year witnessed notable increases of safety features over vehicles from the 2013 model year. The portion of vehicles equipped with adaptive cruise control rose to 1.4% from 1.1%, vehicles outfitted with lane-departure prevention technology rose to 8.4% from 3.4%, and those featuring blind-spot alert increased to 10.1% from 6.3%.
Whether McKinsey’s predictions will come to fruition, remains to be seen. At the turn of this millennium, researcher firms, analysts, and automotive executives were confident that by 2020 hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles would be a chief form of transportation. Since the time of that prediction, some auto manufacturers have completely disregarded the technology.
The autonomous vehicle revolution is not without its fair share of hiccups. At the University of Michigan, robotics professor Ryan Eustice develops autonomous vehicle technology. Eustice asserts the belief that the technology will cure all our driving ills, is a bit premature.
He says the vehicles are still unreliable in inclement weather, some rural routes, or other locations where maps might not be current.
The McKinsey prediction also proposes a departure from personal ownership of vehicles to a pay-for-use scenario. Furthermore, it suggests that autonomous vehicles will facilitate robotics development due to the use of common components, and cause a gradual shift in focus of insurance companies from driver risk profiles to automotive technical malfunction.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Attorneys
At the Denver Injury Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C., our Denver car accident lawyers want all drivers to be safe on our roads. Yet, even when the best safety technology is available, accidents still unfortunately happen. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence or carelessness, you have a right to seek compensation. Contact the Denver Law Firm of John R. Fuller, P.C
. today at 303-597-4500
for a free initial consultation.