As we progress through the second millennium, inventors, entrepreneurs, and transportation enthusiasts all have their eyes fixated on the possibility of autonomous vehicles or self-driving vehicles. Cars that drive themselves can seem pretty Jetsons on the first brush but are actually rather close to becoming common. While the technology to create driverless vehicles already exists, automotive companies are striving to innovate new ways to ensure their safety. In order to understand the statistics about accidents that relate to autonomous vehicles, you must understand a few things about how they are characterized.
Autonomous Vehicle Accident Statistics
Levels of Autonomous Vehicle
There are a few different ways autonomous vehicles can be categorized, depending on their level of autonomy.
- Level 3 autonomous vehicles can drive themselves but are made with the expectation that the “driver” of the car will be able to jump in when needed, after a certain level of warning is provided to the driver. That means that, after a few seconds, a driver should be ready to retain control of the car in order to get to safety or correct the mechanical issue.
- Level 2 autonomous vehicles are not considered autonomous at all, and are instead “automated.” These cars require that drivers maintain their alertness and attention on the road so that they can hop back into a true driver role without too much warning.
Fatalities in Autonomous Vehicle-Involved Accidents
Since 2013 when autonomous vehicles were introduced to the streets in a few key areas, driverless vehicle accident rates have been reported. There are five fatalities involving level 2 autonomous vehicles. Four of these accidents were in the United States, while one was in China. In four of the accidents, the vehicle in question was a Tesla level 2 autonomous car, and the driver was killed. The last accident was an incident involving a pilot of “robotaxis” in California, and it killed a pedestrian.
How People Feel About Driverless Cars
Generally, people who are familiar with driverless cars feel comfortable riding in one. However, only 16% percent of individuals feel comfortable having autonomous vehicles have full control of driving them from point A to point B, so there may be a hard road ahead for fully autonomous vehicles.