New Report Shows Self Driving Cars Prone to Accidents but It Does Not Mean They are Less Safe

According to a new report from transportation researchers, Brandon Schoettle and Michael Sivak of University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, it is found out that self driving cars had an average crash rate of 9.1 per million miles travelled while conventional vehicles had 4.1 per million miles travelled.

The study is based on the comparison of accident records from 2012 through September 2015 from the three companies who conducted autonomous vehicles testing: Google, and with the safety record of all conventional vehicles in the United States for 2013. The safety record adjusted for underreporting of crashes.

It is also found out that self driving vehicles had a higher injury rate with 3.29 per million miles travelled with conventional vehicle with 1.02 per million miles travelled.

According to Schoettle, self driving vehicles might be concluded as more dangerous than conventional vehicles; however, the data is actually showing otherwise. Self driving cars appeared to be more likely to involve in crashes in general even though it is not their fault, as they were always hit by conventional vehicles but the injuries which occurred were less severe and minor so far. On top of that, there had been no fatalities and there was no severe crash type such as head-on crashes or involving pedestrians.

The research also note that apparently there is not enough data as self driving cars had only been on the road for a few years and only accumulated about 1.2 million miles and most records are from Google cars. Conventional cars, on the other hand, accumulated about 3 trillion annual miles in the United States itself.

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