NHTSA Boss Says Self-Driving Cars Will Reduce Death Rate By 50%

Kia Soul EV Autonomous Vehicle Driving 1 photo
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Autonomous cars are the future, and there is no denying it. While petrolheads fear that self-driving vehicles will destroy what they love most, the way that cars drive and the feelings associated with doing this, the new kind of vehicle could bring multiple benefits for all road users.

Along with safer commuting and lower insurance rates, autonomous vehicles could also reduce the annual number of traffic deaths.

This expectation did not come out of a bag, but from the Administrator of the NHTSA, Mark Rosekind. During the TU-Automotive conference in Detroit, Rosekind explained that self-driving cars should bring the annual number of road deaths to half by the time they are ready to become mass-market products on American roadways.

The Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration knows what he is talking about, as the NHTSA has to deal with statistics and safety tests every single day.

Furthermore, the NHTSA also wants to impose tests and strict standards for autonomous cars, to ensure only the best technologies end up in the hands of consumers.

On autonomous cars, the chief of the NHTSA believes that the best idea will be to “start with two times better.” By this, Mr. Rosekind wants to set a higher bar for the safety of autonomous vehicles, so that the technology will be a benefit to clients. In the previous phrase, Mark Rosekind is talking about the level of security provided by the autonomous driving system, and not by the car itself.

Naturally, the vehicle that will bear a system like this will still have to comply with Federal safety regulations, so the autonomous vehicles of the future will have to be at least as safe as their conventional counterparts. When hypothetically asked “how good is good enough,” he would respond “start at two times and then let’s work from there,” Car and Driver reports.

In 2014, deaths on American roads reached 32,675, and the NHTSA says the rate of increase in deaths has come to a pace that has not been attained since the 1940s, so 2015’s statistics are expected to have worse figures.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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