Self-driving cars are the future and it seems we are getting closer and closer to seeing fully autonomous cars on the roads. One of the primary reasons for this is to make the roads safer, but just how safe are self-driving cars?
It seems that there are often stories of self-driving cars crashing during testing, so this post will look at just how safe they are and how the use of levels ensures that the tech is only available when deemed safe.
Self-Driving Technology of Today
Self-driving cars work with the use of AI technology and use a combination of cameras, sensors and radar to drive safely without user input. There are 5 levels of autonomous car tech ranging from 1 (one element of driving is automated, such as lane-keep assist) through to 5 (fully autonomous without the need for a steering wheel).
Currently, we are at level 2 in the UK which allows computers to take over multiple functions, but the driver must remain hands-on at all times. Level 2 includes features like self-parking, driver monitoring and lane-change mode.
It is thought that level 3 could arrive in 2023 and this would involve hands-off driving for periods of time and the car assuming control of all safety-critical functions. This will be a big step forward and it is thought that it could have a big impact on safety.
The Main Cause of Auto Accidents
The main cause of car accidents is human error. Car accidents often happen due to carelessness, driving while fatigued, driving under the influence and bad driving habits. In particular, speeding and distracted driving (using a mobile phone) are two of the most common causes of accidents.
Of course, there are laws in place to prevent these which means that there is not a huge amount more that could be done to prevent these kinds of accidents as they are down to the individual.
Can Self-Driving Cars Solve This Problem?
Therefore, it seems reasonable that self-driving cars can solve this problem. There will be no risk of distracted driving, carelessness or driving under the influence with self-driving cars because the vehicles will simply follow a strict set of rules and be driven entirely by technology. Active safety systems are already reducing the number of accidents on the roads and rising through the levels of automation will make the roads safer.
Self-driving cars are getting closer with each year and 2023 could be another big step forward with level 3 cars on the roads. The technology for fully autonomous cars is far along in development and once this arrives it should make the roads a lot safer because human error will no longer be an issue to worry about.