June 11, 2014

ROBOT CARS: A Moral Imperative?

They found that even cars that are not fully autonomous but which automate some of the most dangerous aspects of driving could have as big an effect as seatbelts have had…

They found that lane-departure warning systems would have prevented 30.3 percent of the crashes caused by lane drifting, and 25.8 percent of the injuries. Rear-end and collision warning systems and automatic braking would have prevented only 3.2 percent to 7.7 percent of crashes, but would have reduced their severity. The number of people injured or killed would have declined in the range of 29 to 50 percent, the researchers concluded.

By comparison, seatbelts have reduced injuries and fatalities by about 50 percent, and are considered the most beneficial auto safety measure of all time, Mr. Gabler said.

I drove the Audi A8 TDI, which had those “semiautonomous” features last summer, and found I liked them considerably more than I expected.