Are Autonomous Driving Features Really Making Roads Safer?

Does autonomous driving make roads safer or not?

Recent years, many vehicles have partially autonomous driving functions, including blind spot detectors and automatic braking. These features are supposed to improve safety. Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin found that people may offset some of the safety benefits by driving more and thus clogging roads.

In a study published in Transportation Research Part A–Policy and Practice recently, it was found that drivers who had one or more autonomous features reported greater miles driven than drivers of similar profiles without them. It is important to note that miles traveled is a significant predictor of accidents. The more you drive the greater your chances of crashing.

Chandra Bhat, a professor at the Cockrell School of Engineering Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, and one of the project’s authors, said: \”Our results showed that people drive more after adopting autonomous features.\” There are engineering benefits, but these are offset by the fact that people drive more and are exposed to more.


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