The development and uptake of driverless cars leads to fewer accidents

March 2, 2019 Critical Thinking

The development and uptake of driverless cars leads to fewer accidents, therefore saving the lives of hundreds a year (Hevelke & Nida-Rumelin, 2014). Worldwide, an estimated 1.25 million people are killed annually with 90% of all car accidents being the result from human error and behavior (Howard & Sparrow, 2017). In 2012, a driverless car was driven over a 48,300km with only two accidents being recorded (Ermson, 2012). This itself constitutes a powerful reason to promote the uptake for driverless cars. Gordon and Lidberg argue that driverless vehicles may be optimal as the attention span of human drivers is considerably low as attention may be focused else where not related to the driving task, therefore driverless cars will proceed to stop more frequently for pedestrians and in traffic compared with human drivers (LeVine, 2015). With a rapid rising rate of car accidents, fatigue is another silent killer (Zhang, 2016). Zhang goes on to state that approximately 20% of all car accidents worldwide relate back to fatigue driving. The public support to place stronger laws in place prohibiting driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol confirm that majority of people feel discomfort driving when there is elevated risk of death or injury at hand (Howard & Sparrow, 2017). This evidence has motivated the development of driverless vehicles with safety systems that take action to avoid accidents. Companies such as Google, BMW, Volvo, Tesla and Daimler (Gordon & Lidberg, 2015) are working on implementing these cars to start deploying them within the next three to five years (Dhar, n.d.). Dhar found that although driverless cars would not eliminate all accidents, less than perfect systems could be just as powerful as they would significantly reduce accidents. Even if there is a small improvement it would improve safety and save hundreds of lives annually (Hevelke & Nida-Rumelin, 2014).