If you ask Bob Lutz, former General Motors vice chairman, then the answer is absolutely, driverless cars are much safer than human-driven cars. According to Lutz, if automakers and insurance companies are smart, they’ll roll out autonomous cars sooner rather than later.
“The autonomous car doesn’t drink, doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t text while driving, doesn’t get road rage,” Lutz said in an interview with CNBC’s “Street Signs”. “Young, autonomous cars don’t want to race other autonomous cars, and they don’t go to sleep.”
Lutz anticipates that there could, and likely will, be occasional accidents but noted that the crash rate will probably be about ten percent of today’s accident rate. We’d be willing to be accidents would also be less severe.
Recently, GM announced one of its 2017 Cadillacs will feature “Super Cruise,” a semi-autonomous system for use on highways. The system uses radars and cameras to keep the car in the center of its lane, and a safe distance behind the cars in front of it. It will also be capable of managing stop-and-go traffic and be able to bring the car to a complete stop when necessary.
While other automakers offer similar systems, GM’s will be the first that is able to operate at highway speeds. Lutz comments that we aren’t far from having all the technology needed to have fully-autonomous cars. “In Cadillacs and a lot of other high-end cars, we’ve got three-quarters of the system operating today. The last thing we need are the automatic steering inputs.”
Would you consider buying a car that drives itself? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!
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