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With driverless cars, how safe is safe enough?

With driverless cars, how safe is safe enough? 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


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