Autonomous Vehicles May Not Prevent Most Crashes, Says IIHS24
The advent of fully autonomous vehicles and autonomous vehicle technology has long been hailed by proponents as a means towards preventing, or even completely eliminating, automobile crashes. In fact, General Motors has pointed to autonomous tech as a means towards achieving the “Zero Crashes” portion of its Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion commitment. However, the ability for autonomous vehicles to prevent crashes depends largely on their programming, as outlined by a new study from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
The new IIHS study looked at more than 5,000 police-reported crashes from the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey, as collected by the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA). The IIHS team identified five primary contributors to a crash, including:
- Sensing and perceiving, including failure to recognize a hazard
- Predicting, such as driver misjudgment of another vehicle’s speed
- Planning and deciding, such as driving too fast for the conditions
- Execution and performance, such as mistakes in control of the vehicle
- Incapacitation, including impairment as a result of the consumption of drugs or alcohol
According to the study, autonomous vehicles would only be able to avoid crashes resulting from two of these categories, namely sensing and perceiving, and incapacitation, given the current state of AV programming.
“Crashes due to only sensing and perceiving errors accounted for 24 percent of the total, and incapacitation accounted for 10 percent,” states the IIHS. “Those crashes might be avoided if all vehicles on the road were self-driving – though it would require sensors that worked perfectly and systems that never malfunctioned. The remaining two-third might still occur unless autonomous vehicles are also specifically programmed to avoid other types of predicting, decision-making and performance errors.”
The IIHS suggests that autonomous vehicles be programmed specifically to prioritize safety over speed and convenience, rather than to make the same decision about risk as human drivers.
As the organization points out, this may put the preference of the rider or riders at odds with the safety priorities of the autonomous vehicle system, but is critical in order for AVs to live up to their safety promises.
Back in January, General Motors debuted Cruise Origin, its first fully driverless car. Origin has been in development for over three years, and is designed from the ground-up as a completely autonomous all-electric vehicle capable of transporting up to four passengers. By the time it goes into production, GM says Cruise Origin will have core software that will best an average human driver in terms of performance and safety.
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Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS)
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That is what I have said all along.
There are just areas you can’t account for.
Especially when you still have people in other cars driving randomly.
I can see people swerving at autonomous cars and doing things to them to disrupt the way they are driving. Imagine road rage on a programmed car with known weakness.
Also if given a point of going over a cliff or hitting a deer. Who do you wanting to make the call you or a programmer
The lives in the AV are worth more than the lives of deer, so that decision is easy to take and execute. Humans would do the same. Wouldn’t you?
What about running over a pedestrian instead of driving into oncoming traffic?
What if the sensors do not read it as a deer.
This week we had a Tesla miss read the roof of an over turned over truck and ram it at speed.
Sorry I will take my own chances on my decisions.
Sorry Science is not God!
But but the experts say otherwise….
Who’s paying thier salary?
A lot of naïve investors who believe anything they read.
If the driving laws of all the States had provisions to protect autonomous vehicles, and forced human drivers to behave around them, or else face more drastic punishment including higher fines and jail terms, that can help legally . But software cannot account for all the bad things humans can do by disobeying those laws. I expect some humans to act as saboteurs, crashing into AVs on purpose as they fear losing their command on public roads.
I welcome more AVs and I plan to be one of their passengers and relinquish driving to them. People who drive are those who kill other people.
Forced human drivers how, exactly? A lot of things are already illegal, like speeding, but those laws don’t force anybody not to speed.
So AV’s have been a bum steer and the answer is, what can we do to control people to patch them? Wow just wow
The only way you will take my vehicle will be to pry my cold dead fingers from the steering wheel. If there comes a day I cannot drive, I will hire someone to drive me.
If you want drivers to behave and the roads to be safer, enforce the laws we already have e.g. DUI, texting and driving, etc.
I think this statements is incorrect:
“According to the study, autonomous vehicles would only be able to avoid crashes resulting from two of these categories, namely sensing and perceiving, and incapacitation, given the current state of AV programming.”
Incapacitation due to alcohol, too? Will an AV get drunk at all (maybe on ethanol fuel)?
I would rather re-phrase the statement. I believe “autonomous vehicles may prevent most crashes, but not all crashes”.
It depends on more than the programming! The technology, quality of components, time and external forces all play a part too. I have witnessed touch screens locking up or not loading correctly, information screens that error out until you wait over night to reset the system, bluetooth calls dropping for no apparent reason in certain makes that don’t affect other cars in the same exact locations and detection systems that malfunction and don’t read the situation correctly for starters.
I know there have been several times my Bluetooth electronics and touch screens had a brain fart. Just think of the same scenario on an automated braking system or radar on an AV .
99% of man driven vehicle accidents are caused by human error. If autonomous vehicles can bring that number down, say by one or two units, then they are already worth it. On the other hand, stochasticity will always play a role as a potential cause for accident not foreseen by a computer program or a sensor: like sudden change of weather pattern, road, and software or hardware malfunction.
There is no guarantee that AVs are safer than human-driven vehicles. You would have to have an equal mix of traditional vehicles and AVs on the roads to make that determination. A good hack job on a network of AVs could kill/injure thousands in minutes.
Yes there is. Example: 1. GPS only give drivers info on weather forecast and traffic ahead which are not available through human senses only. This reduces the probability of accidents. 2. You are sick, exhausted or are having a real bad day and still have to go out and drive. Well, you should know you are an accident waiting to happen. Engaging autopilot can make your trip safer for you and everybody else out there. 3. Autopilots have existed in aviation for decades and they’re mandatory on international flights. There are all kinds of airplanes flying hundreds passengers through a million different routes at different altitudes through changing weather patterns. And you can say that air traffic today is safer than ever before. One or two Human brains only cannot account for the control of all the variables at play out there. Well, the autopilot saved the game again.
Who the hell is pushing “Autonomous” vehicles other than the usual control freaks wanting to control every dam aspect of YOUR life and apparently a few new generations of wimps who can’t get their friggin faces out of their “smart” phones for a few minutes to drive a car??? WTH happened to driving for PLEASURE?!!? Just “going for a drive anywhere”. ONLY way this is successful is to make it ILLEGAL to drive cars on roadways where autonomous vehicles travel like inner city streets. And don’t put that past activist Politicians of today & the future. Happy times going forward driving ENTHUSIASTs!!!
The people who are pushing them are sly entrepreneurs, naïve politicians, and naïve executives- none of which could care less about “saved lives” but only how much money could potentially be made.
Along the lines of your argument, what else is going to be controlled for “our own good”? Hundreds of thousands die from heart disease. Are we to have the government produce some heart-friendly slop and eliminate all foods with trans fats? Alcohol kills tens of thousands of years. Want to go back to prohibition- that certainly worked well. And of course if you want to control vehicles, you may as well take away all forms of transportation such as bikes, motorcycles and boats since they too have accidents that cause death.
Could you imagine the field days that governors like Whitmer would have if AVs ruled the day? No getting in a vehicle to leave your house. The AV fleet is grounded until further notice. Now stay home and watch Jerry Springer reruns.
“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Benjamin Franklin
Michael , I agree ! If you do not wish to drive call a taxi,Uber Lyft or whatever but having a driverless car mixed in with human controlled vehicles sounds to me like an experiment with we drivers as the lab rats. Besides why are we looking to put more people out of work so you can amuse yourself with your phone
The real danger is if you seed control to your vehicle how long will it be that they can control where you go, when you go and how you go some where.
There is a major danger here that few speak about.
The change to mostly electric AVs is inevitable. Some will resist this. Rent seekers will provide much of this resistance. Many of the rent seeking businesses will be oil, insurance and car manufacturing companies.
Interest in AVs have fallen like a rock, and that was before Covid 19.