Amid increased enthusiasm from automakers, tech companies as well as US government to hit the roads, to the earliest, with commercial autonomous cars, a nonprofit organization, National Safety Council, has come up with some astonishing facts that may slow down the development of the new face of auto industry.
According to the organization, about 40,000 Americans died last year due to traffic accidents and the figure is about 6 percent more than that of 2015. More to this, the figure mentioned for 2016 is the deadliest on US roads in about past decade.
The jump in traffic casualties has lately raised questions whether driverless cars would be safe on roads. It is underscoring the need for rapid adoption of new automotive safety technologies.
If believed to public policy experts, the full embrace of the autonomous cars on roads would take longer time than estimated by tech companies, auto giants and the government as well. The new face of auto industry to see higher hurdles in costs and policy too.
NSC president and chief executive officer Deborah Hersman said the top three causes of deaths due to traffic in 2016 were speeding, alcohol and distractions.
She adds such concerns can be changed with the newly-developed technologies like lane departure warning and blond-spot monitoring.
Meanwhile, an initiative has been taken by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NSC and two other agencies to make the roads as such by 2046 that no deaths take place due to traffic.
NSC has been granted with a $1 million and hopes to build such road infrastructure and strategic deployment of self-driving cars to make zero-traffic-deaths scenario.
Associate professor of urban planning at the University of California, Berkeley, Daniel Chatman, said autonomous cars will surely eliminate the causes of human errors on roads, but it is still a question as how much time will taken to achieve the goal and this is something to be figured out.
He added, “I think the best corollary to autonomous vehicles is how long it took for people to adopt motor vehicles when they were first invented. And the answer to that, at that time in history, it was about 20 years.”
All such questions arises at such time when several tech giants have started investing hugely into the development of artificial intelligence systems to be helpful for autonomous cars and to make fully autonomous vehicle a reality in near future.
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