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autopilot self driving car

Are Autopilot Cars Safe to Drive?

Year after year, technology has been at the forefront of many successful inventions. Advanced vehicle technology has the potential to improve safety and mobility for all drivers. Automated Driving Systems (ADSs) are being designed to drive a car, taxi, bus, or other vehicles. These autopilot vehicles theoretically react faster than human drivers and will never drive drunk, text while driving, or get tired and should be able to dramatically improve vehicle safety. Many automobile companies have been testing out self-driving cars, but following a series of autopilot crashes, it has everyone wondering: are autopilot cars safe? 

According to the United States Department of Transportation, 94% of serious crashes are due to human error. Automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error from the crash equation entirely, which will help protect drivers and passengers, as well as bicyclists and pedestrians. When you consider more than 35,000 people die in motor vehicle-related crashes in the United States each year, you may reconsider the benefits of technology.

People vs. AI Technology

When people learn to drive they use common sense and reasoning skills to predict actions and outcomes on the road. They become better with practice and are more adaptable to their driving environment with experience, but human error will always be looming. Autopilot vehicles have the potential to remove human error from the crash equation, which will help protect drivers and passengers. The big problem is, you cannot teach common sense to machine learning cars. People are quick to react to unexpected changes like a child chasing a ball into the street, a deer in the road, and even icy pavement. In lieu of common sense reasoning capabilities, AI technology in autopilot vehicles must anticipate every possible situation. Another issue is autopilot cars are prone to mistakes as they can be fooled in ways that people are not. For example, researchers showed that minor changes to a speed limit sign could cause a machine learning system to misread a sign that said 85 mph instead of 35 mph. 

Other Problems with Autopilot Cars

  • Cannot Detect Shadows
  • Computer Hackers
  • Colors of Traffic Signs are distractions
  • Cannot differentiate between objects and pedestrians

The Road Ahead

At this time autopilot vehicles cannot recognize pedestrians and other objects with 100 percent accuracy. Top automobile companies are working around the clock to perfect their AI technology to be the first to announce they have developed the safest, accident-free, autopilot car. While an increasing number of vehicles now offer some automated safety features designed to assist the driver, there is no vehicle currently for sale that is fully automated or “self-driving.” Unfortunately, automobile accidents can occur at any given time even with high-tech equipment, so stay alert and always drive safely. 

We Are Here to Help

At Edelman, Krasin, & Jaye, PLLC, we offer more than 60 years of combined experience and have convenient office locations in Long Island and the Bronx, and we know how to approach these cases to get the results you need. If you or your loved one have been in a motor vehicle accident, you can reach our New York offices located in Long Island, Brooklyn, or the Bronx, by phone at 800-469-7429 to schedule an appointment. You can also contact us using our online contact form and on our Live Chat application on our website to have your questions answered at any time.