Researchers at RAND have been working on the technology behind driverless vehicles for over 50 years. From 1968 to the present, studies have involved remote-controlled drones, military land vehicles, autonomous submarines, and the safety and liability issues of self-driving cars.
Tens of thousands of people die on American roads every year. Bringing that number down to zero by 2050 is possible. We would have to change how we think about road safety, stop accepting car crashes as accidents, and make smart investments in technology.
Safety and cybersecurity are generally pursued by separate teams within autonomous vehicle companies. A joint approach to standards could optimize safety and cybersecurity and reduce overall risks to autonomous vehicle operation.
Autonomous vehicle developers are pursuing different safety strategies and technologies, making different claims, in different ways, about their systems. A universal framework could provide a more consistent and transparent view of progress in AV safety within and across the industry, better informing the public and policymakers.
Unleashed in Santa Monica, California, last September, Bird and its competitors are now in 30 American cities and counting. Cities are responding to the scooter takeover with new regulations and increased law enforcement. But if officials rely only on 20th-century tools to integrate these 21st-century scooters into their cities, they will miss a big opportunity.
Some people think autonomous vehicles must be flawless before humans take their hands off the wheel. But putting AVs on the road before they're perfect improves the technology more quickly—and could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.
California's Department of Motor Vehicles recently proposed new regulations governing the testing and deployment of autonomous vehicles. Will this help retain the state's status as a testing and deployment ground for the technology, and will it make California safer?
The Arctic is more accessible than it once was, but it's still a formidable place to travel. An emergency involving a cruise ship or a downed plane could stress the search-and-rescue system. But modest investments and planning measures can make a big difference.
The first reported fatality in a self-driving vehicle is a chilling reminder that the evolving relationship with increasingly robotic motor vehicles needs to be a partnership, an undertaking with humans and machines managing the risks.
The first known fatality in an autonomous vehicle occurred on May 7 and raises important questions. It does not, however, mean that self-driving cars are less safe than human drivers or that development of the technology should be stopped.
The Istanbul attack will renew calls to extend existing security screening at the front doors of terminals. But checkpoints create bottlenecks and queues of people waiting to get through them, which then become an easy target.
Legalizing and allowing profit-maximizing firms to produce, sell, and advertise recreational marijuana would likely increase marijuana consumption. But how would this increased consumption influence the use of other substances?
There are arguments to be made for permitting driverless cars in some capacity even if they are not quite as safe as human drivers, because doing so may enable developers to improve them faster, and thus save more lives overall.
Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in the U.S. An online tool can help policymakers understand the available evidence-based interventions that can help prevent crash injuries and deaths, what they will cost, and how effective they will be in their state.
The Volkswagen scandal comes at a time when the public's trust in both the automotive industry and tech companies is at risk. The level of public trust in an individual organization could end up burnishing — or infecting — an entire industry or new technology.
Late last month, Fiat Chrysler recalled 1.4 million cars to fix a defect that allowed hackers to imperil drivers from afar. In essence, what was considered a huge threat was converted into a solved or at least solvable problem.
Once driverless cars are safer than the average human driver, they should be allowed to hit the road. Indeed, waiting for autonomous vehicles to be perfect would be its own safety concern because it would mean the needless perpetuation of the risks posed by human drivers.
According to consumer research, the ability to consume media, write an email, or even sleep during transport is a key selling point for autonomous vehicles (self-driving cars), which could be widely available in the fairly near future. Autonomous vehicle technology could also produce a wide range of public benefits.
Security protections on vehicles have not kept pace with systems that control safety features, navigation capabilities, and wireless communication functions. Onboard computer networks will likely become much more attractive to hackers, whether their aim is to steal a car, eavesdrop on a conversation, stalk a potential victim, or cause a devastating traffic accident.
Though “microsleep,” commonly referred to as “highway hypnosis,” may enter the public discourse most often when it's cited as the possible cause of a disaster like the Metro-North train wreck, it is responsible for fatal accidents on American highways every day.
One of the things taken for granted in the United States is the vast network of school buses—about 26 million children ride 480,000 buses every day. But in other parts of the world, getting millions of children to and from the right school, on time, safely, and for a reasonable cost is a significant challenge.
Drivers 65 and older are only 16 percent more likely per mile driven to cause a traffic accident than are drivers ages 25–64. And their total contribution to the nation's traffic accidents is surprisingly small, writes David S. Loughran.