Limitations of Self-Driving Cars

self-driving cars

Driverless vehicles might be inevitable, but will they actually make transportation safer and more efficient? In a recent NPR broadcast interview, former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz discussed several serious problems that self-driving vehicles pose to the public.

If you’ve been injured by a driverless vehicle, you should contact an Atlanta car accident lawyer. The lawyers at Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC will investigate the crash and help you figure out how the collision occurred. Our law firm can acquire the dash cam video footage and autonomous vehicle data which typically reveal what went wrong. Once we determine fault, we can help you recover compensation for your losses.

Call us today at (404) 419-6674, or reach out through our online contact form to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

Self-Driving Cars Are Still Unsafe

According to former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz, there have been at least three deaths related to cars driven in autonomous mode. The self-driving auto industry attempted to keep those deaths hidden from the public until the deaths were reported by the media.

To put those deaths in perspective, conventional vehicles cause three deaths every 260 million miles driven. Self-driving vehicles, by contrast, have only logged between 10-15 million miles to date. Therefore, if the current death rates remain consistent, driverless vehicles will have caused 51 deaths by the time they log 260 million miles. That’s 48 more deaths than conventional vehicles caused when logging the same number of miles – a 95% higher death rate!

Driverless Cars Have Trouble Recognizing People and Predicting Human Behavior

Driver error is responsible for causing nearly all car accidents. Driverless vehicle advocates argue that if you remove the human driver and replace him with a computer, the computer will make better decisions and cause fewer accidents. That argument assumes that computers are more adept at making driving decisions than humans. So far, the evidence indicates otherwise.

Former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz makes that point by explaining how the Uber crash in Tempe, Arizona killed a female pedestrian that was walking her bicycle across the road. According to Mr. Schwartz, one would have expected the autonomous vehicle, like a traditional driver, to stop after recognizing the bicycle and female road hazards. Instead, the autonomous vehicle said, “I’m not sure what this is; it doesn’t look right to me. I don’t want to stop suddenly because that also contributes to crashes. So, I’m going to plow right ahead.”

Self-Driving Vehicles Will Dramatically Increase Traffic Congestion

According to former New York City Traffic Commissioner Sam Schwartz, autonomous vehicles will lead to much worse traffic congestion in major cities — like Atlanta. Mr. Schwartz expects that there will be tons of self-driving vehicles on the roads because it will be so inexpensive to run them, particularly if they are run as a fleet. He also points out that there will be no “down time” for driverless vehicles which will be run approximately 80% of the time during their life span. By comparison, traditional vehicles currently sit idle in a parking lot or garage 95% of their lifespan.

One can imagine that Atlanta rush hour traffic might extend to 12+ hours a day, which will undeniably lead to more car accidents unless self-driving vehicles can be run with clockwork efficiency.

Yet, Mr. Schwartz dispels the “nonsense hype” from the self-driving auto industry that autonomous vehicles can be run “so efficiently close that we can replicate train capacity on the highway.” According to Mr. Schwartz, a train or bus in a dedicated lane can move 100 people in 60 feet. An autonomous vehicle, by contrast, will have 1 person per car (or perhaps zero if the car is en route for a pick-up), and it will move, at most, 2-3 people in the same distance that a bus or train could move 100 people. “The math doesn’t work,” Mr. Schwartz concludes.

Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC Can Help

If you or someone you love has been injured by a self-driving vehicle, you are likely wondering how you can achieve justice for your losses. At Allen & Scofield Injury Lawyers, LLC, If the driverless car manufacturer won’t acknowledge its wrong doing and pay you what you deserve, we will be glad to take them to court to hold them accountable.

Call us today at (404) 419-6674, or reach out through our online contact form to schedule a free, initial evaluation of your case.

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