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Safety of autonomous vehicles uncertain

Most residents in Georgia have likely heard assertions that self-driving vehicles can dramatically reduce or even eliminate deaths in automobile accidents. That is part of the belief and vision on which these vehicles are being developed and tested today. However, it is not completely clear to many people whether or not this vision can actually be realized.

As reported by Gizmodo, there has been a shifting level of trust in autonomous vehicles among American consumers over the last couple of years. In the early part of 2017, the vast majority of people surveyed - a whopping 78% - indicated they would not feel safe riding in a fully self-driving car. By the latter portion of that same year, however, only 63% of people indicated they would be too afraid to be a passenger in an autonomous vehicle. Fast-forward to early 2019 and trust in self-driving vehicle safety has dropped. Now, 71% of Americans say they would not trust the safety of these vehicles.

Testing of autonomous vehicles is one area drawing some debate nationally. As explained by Curbed, many of the systems that make fully autonomous vehicles work require real-world interactions so the software can learn new situations and develop responses to them. That puts these vehicles on the roads with human-driven vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians at an early stage.

Another issue of concern is the development of semi-autonomous vehicle technology that allows some self-driving capabilities with the option for a human to assume control. Opponents to this argue that the presence of self-driving options may actually contribute to more driver distraction, making the human less able to react appropriately if and when needed.

 

 

 

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