Many people in Kentucky are interested in the potential of autonomous driving technology to cut down on the number of car accidents. One example of semi-autonomous technology currently installed in cars is Tesla’s Autopilot system. The automaker issued a voluntary Vehicle Safety Report saying that drivers who use Autopilot are less likely to be involved in a crash than Tesla drivers who turn off Autopilot and far less likely to have an accident than the general driving population.
Tesla calculated its statistics between July and September 2018. The company said that drivers using Autopilot had one accident or related incident per 3.34 million miles in which drivers operated a car with Autopilot. For drivers with Autopilot technology turned off, the company reported one car accident per 1.92 million miles driven. In comparison, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted that drivers in general have one crash per 492,000 miles. There are a number of factors that can contribute to the differential, including driver demographics, car types, time of day, weather and other factors.
Tesla’s report did not indicate the severity of the incident or whether a crash was an injury accident. The Autopilot semi-autonomous technology involves several types of safety systems, including adaptive cruise control and steering assistance. However, both technologies are designed for the open highway rather than busy city streets or country roads. Some people criticize the technology, noting that human drivers can be overly confident and more likely to behave negligently when relying on the software.
While autonomous technology is still in development, the human factor continues to be critical in auto accidents. Severe crashes can lead to serious injuries and lifelong disabilities. People who are injured through no fault of their own might want to work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for their damages, including medical bills and lost wages.