Autonomous vehicles could greatly reduce the risk of crashes. But the safety benefits are not yet proven and may not be known until AVs are widespread. What kind of regulatory approach could help balance innovation, risk, and uncertainty?
The terrorist attack in Barcelona has added urgency to discussions of what can be done to prevent terrorists from using vehicles as weapons. Many potential security measures would be disruptive, costly, and could easily be circumvented by a determined terrorist.
The terrorist attack that began when a van mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge is a reminder that vehicular terrorism has become mainstream. How can authorities safeguard against such low-tech attacks?
This report presents a summary of a two-year project undertaken within the National Cooperative Highway Research Program to help transportation planners and managers understand the implications of profound changes in the nature of travel demand patterns in the United States and in other western countries.
Autonomous vehicles hold enormous promise for transportation safety. But feasible, sound methods of testing need to be developed. In the meantime, policymakers should work to foster the development of self-driving vehicles while lowering their risks.
Americans drive three trillion miles a year, causing one death every 100 million miles. To prove that autonomous vehicles are safer than humans, they would have to be test-driven astronomical distances. Regulators should pursue other ways of reducing uncertainty about AV safety.
More than 90 percent of car crashes are caused by human errors. Will self-driving vehicles help mitigate this risk? To answer this question, experts must address how safety is measured and determine the threshold of safety required before autonomous vehicles are on the roads.
Policymakers generally agree on the need to rebuild America's infrastructure. But the country is far behind in this area. Why? Transportation projects take time and money. And it's hard to predict how a project will affect its surroundings.
The federal government should work with private firms to develop drone traffic management systems and test drone designs. This could help stimulate the development of drone aviation. It could also help modernize the air traffic control system.
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.
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.
Under even the most-aggressive test driving assumptions, it would take existing fleets of autonomous vehicles tens and even hundreds of years to log sufficient miles to adequately assess the safety of the vehicles when compared to human-driven vehicles.