Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak from University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute has analysed accident records from 2012 to September 2015 from all the three companies which undergoing autonomous vehicles testing which is Google, Delphi and Audi. The conclusion is that the self driving cars like the ones tested by Google are more prone to accident, however, it does not mean that they are less safe.
For this study, the two researchers compared the crash rate of self driving car with conventional vehicles. It is found out that self driving cars had average crash rate of 9.1 per million miles traveled to 4.1 per million miles traveled for conventional vehicles. Self driving cars also had higher injury rate with 3.29 per million miles traveled to 1.02 per million miles traveled for conventional vehicles.
Schoettle emailed NBC News that one might concluded that self driving vehicles are more dangerous but he did not think the data actually showed that, as self driving vehicles appeared to be more likely to be involved in crashes in general, however, it was not their fault and always being hit by conventional vehicles, and the injuries that occurred were less severe and all minor so far.
On top of that, apparently self driving cars are currently being tested in California whereby the environment is less challenging than any part of America as there is no snow whereas conventional cars might encounter a more challenging road conditions.