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With driverless cars, how safe is safe enough?

With driverless cars, how safe is safe enough?

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/01/31/driverless-cars-autonomous-vehicles-safety-innovation-death-accidents-column/78688584/Ride-sharing app Lyft and auto giant General Motors heated up the driverless car debate in January, announcing plans to build a fleet of autonomous vehicles to meet America’s growing appetite for on-demand ride services. They join Google, Ford and Uber on the driverless bandwagon.

But before driverless cars can be deployed to satisfy this growing demand, a fundamental question remains: How safe is safe enough?

Inevitably, some will insist that anything short of totally eliminating risk is a safety compromise. They might feel that humans can make mistakes, but not machines. But waiting for autonomous vehicles to operate perfectly misses opportunities to save lives by keeping far-from-perfect human drivers behind the wheel. In the United States alone, about 30,000 people are killed and more than 2 million injured in crashes every year. The vast majority of the existing carnage is caused by human error. Moreover, perfection could be a standard that is unattainable or that is not economically viable for developers, putting the kibosh on the industry. This would be a classic case of the perfect being the enemy of the good. read more at usatoday.com

 



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