Traffic Accidents

  • A self-driving car being developed by nuTonomy

    Article

    Why Waiting for Perfect Autonomous Vehicles May Cost Lives

    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.

    Nov 7, 2017

  • News Release

    Introducing Autonomous Vehicles Sooner Could Save Hundreds of Thousands of Lives Over Time

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States, an approach that could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • Multimedia

    How Safe Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Before They're Introduced to Market?

    RAND researchers Nidhi Kalra and David G. Groves developed a model to compare 500 different scenarios of autonomous vehicle introduction, adoption, and improvement. The research shows that putting autonomous vehicles on the road sooner, allowing them to improve quicker, could save hundreds of thousands of lives over time.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • A still image from the Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer tool showing a line and bar chart, comparing future scenarios with autonomous vehicles against a future without AVs.

    Tool

    Enemy of Good: Autonomous Vehicle Safety Scenario Explorer

    How safe should highly automated vehicles (HAVs) be before they are allowed on the roads for consumer use? This tool lets users develop their own future scenarios and estimates the resulting fatalities against a future without AVs.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • A self-driving car (L) being developed by nuTonomy, a company creating software for autonomous vehicles, is guided down a street near their offices in Boston, Massachusetts, June 2, 2017

    Report

    RAND Model of Automated Vehicle Safety (MAVS): Model Documentation

    This report describes a simple model of how factors shaping the diffusion and performance of highly automated vehicles may interact and result in different safety outcomes over time.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • A self-driving Uber drives in Pittsburgh during a media preview

    Report

    Deploying Autonomous Vehicles Before They're Perfect Will Save More Lives

    Autonomous vehicles should only have to be moderately better than human drivers before being widely used in the United States. This approach could save thousands of lives annually even before the technology is perfected.

    Nov 6, 2017

  • An autonomous version of Acura's RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD stops for a simulated pedestrian crossing at carmaker Honda's testing grounds at the GoMentum Station autonomous vehicle test facility in Concord, California, June 1, 2016

    Report

    How Should Autonomous Vehicles Be Regulated?

    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?

    Sep 18, 2017

  • Multimedia

    Challenges and Approaches to Realizing Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    An overview of testimony by Nidhi Kalra submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection on February 14, 2017.

    Feb 14, 2017

  • An illustration of autonomous cars on a road

    Testimony

    Realizing Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    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.

    Feb 14, 2017

  • A highway at night under a starry sky

    Infographic

    Don't Rely on Test-Driving Alone to Assess Autonomous Vehicle Safety

    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.

    Jan 9, 2017

  • A prototype of Google's self-driving vehicle is seen in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    Testimony

    Shaping the Future of Autonomous Vehicles

    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.

    Nov 16, 2016

  • A Tesla Model S with version 7.0 software update containing Autopilot features is seen during a Tesla event in Palo Alto, California, October 14, 2015

    Commentary

    Tesla Fatal Crash Reminds That Human Interface Remains Important

    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.

    Jul 30, 2016

  • The interior of a Tesla Model S is shown in autopilot mode in San Francisco, California, April 7, 2016

    Commentary

    Fatal Crash Shouldn't Kill Self-Driving Cars

    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.

    Jul 16, 2016

  • Gill Pratt, CEO of Toyota Research Institute, talks about developing autonomous cars during the 2016 CES trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 5, 2016

    Commentary

    Why It's Nearly Impossible to Prove Self-Driving Cars' Safety Without a New Approach

    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.

    May 12, 2016

  • News Release

    Autonomous Vehicles Cannot Be Test-Driven Enough Miles to Demonstrate Their Safety; Alternative Testing Methods Needed

    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.

    Apr 12, 2016

  • The computer screen in an autonomous prototype Continental Chrysler 300C sedan at an event featuring numerous self-driving cars on Capitol Hill, March 15, 2016

    Report

    Test-Driving Alone Cannot Demonstrate the Safety of Autonomous Vehicles

    In order to advance autonomous vehicles into daily use, alternative testing methods must be developed to supplement on-the-road testing. Alternative methods might include accelerated testing, virtual testing and simulators, mathematical modeling, scenario testing, and pilot studies.

    Apr 11, 2016

  • Emergency responders helping at a traffic accident

    Commentary

    A New Tool to Assess the Costs and Effectiveness of Traffic Crash Interventions

    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.

    Apr 4, 2016

  • Advertisement from 1957 for "America's Independent Electric Light and Power Companies" showing an autonomous car

    Report

    Self-Driving Vehicles Offer Potential Benefits, Policy Challenges for Lawmakers

    Self-driving vehicles offer the promise of significant benefits to society, but raise several policy challenges, including the need to update insurance liability regulations and privacy concerns such as who will control the data generated by this technology.

    Mar 22, 2016

  • A line of Lexus SUVs equipped with Google self-driving sensors awaits test riders in Mountain View, California, September 29, 2015

    Commentary

    With Driverless Cars, How Safe Is Safe Enough?

    Before driverless cars can be deployed, a fundamental question remains: How safe is safe enough? Waiting for autonomous vehicles to operate perfectly misses opportunities to save lives by keeping far-from-perfect human drivers behind the wheel.

    Feb 1, 2016

  • Periodical

    RAND Review: January-February 2016

    This issue highlights RAND research findings on the effectiveness of correctional education in U.S. prisons; an exploration of how emerging technologies present an ongoing challenge to the criminal-justice community; and more.

    Jan 11, 2016