Self-Driving Car Statistics

Self-driving car statistics are in development while the US tests autonomous vehicles in 21 states. The hope is that self-driving cars will prevent the 94 percent of serious crashes due to human error and over 36 thousand accident-related deaths per year. There is hotter debate over the ethics behind autonomous vehicles. Currently, 47 percent of Americans are hesitant to use an autonomous vehicle. Even if we all own self-driving cars, auto insurance will still be a legal requirement. Get free quotes from multiple companies here.

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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Overview

  • There is a variety of terms related to self-driving cars like Teslas.
  • There are five levels of autonomy that a vehicle can have which may involve different levels of human interaction.
  • The official testing of self-driving cars by the NHTSA began in June 2020 in 21 states across the country by over 80 companies, and more states are slated to participate.
  • Statistics show that 94 percent of serious crashes are due to human error, and over 36 thousand people died in car accidents in 2018.
  • 47 percent of Americans are hesitant to use an autonomous vehicle. The year before these results, 74 percent were apprehensive.

Valid self-driving car statistics are not yet available since the US is still in the testing phase.

The statistics that are available are on the cause of car accidents and the number of deaths that are said could be prevented by self-driving cars. The hotter debate, currently, is the ethics behind autonomous vehicles.

Even if you own a Tesla, you are still required to carry auto insurance because it protects you, your car, others, and their cars. Enter your ZIP code above to get free quotes for any vehicle you currently drive or hope to drive.

What is an autonomous car?

There are many variations and levels of autonomy a vehicle can have. Just because a car is called self-driving doesn’t mean it will transport humans with no human interaction at all.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of popular terms associated with autonomous cars:

  • Autonomous vehicle (AV)
  • Self-driving car
  • Adaptive technology
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Autopilot
  • Cloud-connected
  • Driver-assisted
  • Fully automated
  • Ladar — just like radar but using lasers instead

Here are the 6 levels that designate how autonomous a car actually is:

  • Level 0: A human controls every mechanism driving mechanism, even if there is just a simple warning system.
  • Level 1: A human controls the majority of the driving and only steering and braking are tasks that are assisted.
  • Level 2: A human controls everything except for acceleration, braking, and steering.
  • Level 3: A human intervenes in only certain conditions, but still has the ability to override any tasks the vehicle does.
  • Level 4: The vehicle can perform all that a human can to operate the vehicle.
  • Level 5: The vehicle is the driver and controls all functions always without human intervention.

The widespread use of autonomous vehicles in the US are still in the beginning stages of testing, but we do have some preliminary statistics surrounding accident prevention and how Americans feel about having self-driving cars on our highways.

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What are self-driving car statistics?

Plenty of surveys have been circulated in multiple countries asking drivers where they stand on autonomous vehicles, and most reveal an on-the-fence disposition.

Currently, the moral ethics behind autonomous vehicles is a hotter debate than the testing of them.

Nevertheless, here are results from some of the surveys:

  • 47 percent of Americans are hesitant to use an autonomous vehicle. The year before these results, 74 percent were apprehensive.
  • 57 percent of those surveyed in Japan feel that fully automated cars will not be safe.
  • 48 percent of respondents are willing to pay extra for a ride in an autonomous car.

What about safety statistics?

What are self-driving car safety statistics?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the same agency that has been test-crashing vehicles and producing safety ratings since 1970, provides a transparent tracking tool called the AV Test Initiative for the public to monitor testing efforts in 21 states by over 300 companies.

Some of these companies are Uber, Toyota, and Purdue University. You can even sign-up to get email updates.

At this point, there has not been enough data collected on self-driving cars being tested across the country to produce valid statistics.

All there is right now is a handful of anecdotal reports of accidents caused by automated vehicles, which, honestly, is all part of the testing phase.

However, the NHTSA reports that 94 percent of serious crashes are due to human error and that over 36 thousand people died in car accidents in 2018. The general hope is that, after significant and validated testing efforts, autonomous vehicles can save lives.

Safety features that have been installed in vehicles since the year 2000 have led up to the kick-off of the AV Test initiative.

  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Blind Spot Detection
  • Forward Collision Warning
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Rearview Video Systems
  • Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Pedestrian Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Rear Automatic Emergency Braking
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert
  • Lane Centering Assist
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic jam assist
  • Self-park

By 2025, the NHTSA hopes to have accomplished 100 percent highway autopilot.

Even though fully automated driverless cars are unlikely to be available for at least the next 5 years, we all still need to buy auto insurance coverage. To get free auto insurance quotes from companies in your area, enter your ZIP code below.

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