CRF Blog

Leave the Driving to It

by Bill Hayes

The American Scientist has an interesting article on How would lives and landscapes change if every car had a computer in the driver’s seat?

There’s one prediction about driverless cars that I can make with confidence: If millions of them ever roam the public highways, they will be far safer than cars driven by people. My confidence in this assertion does not derive from mere faith in technology. It’s just that if robotic drivers were as dangerous as human ones, then computer-controlled cars would never be allowed on the roads. We hold our machines to a higher standard than ourselves.

Over the past decade, the number of auto accidents in the United States—counting only those serious enough to be reported to the police—has been running at about six million a year. Those accidents kill about 40,000 people and injure well over two million more. Estimates of the economic impact are in the neighborhood of $200 billion. Much of that cost is shared among car owners through premiums for auto insurance. [more]