Autonomous Vehicle Safety

When measuring fatalities in human-controlled vehicles, it is measured in “vehicle miles traveled”. In 2016, there were 1.8 deaths for every 100 million miles driven in the United States. As total miles driven that year were nearly 3.2 trillion, that means tens of thousands of people killed.

When measuring autonomous vehicle safety, Waymo has logged approximately 4 million miles, Uber has logged approximately 2 million miles, and even when adding in the other autonomous vehicle projects, the number isn’t anywhere near 100 million miles. To date, one pedestrian has been killed by an autonomous vehicle and two drivers using Tesla's Autopilot feature have been killed in crashes.

This data does not suggest autonomous vehicles are safer than human drivers.

On the other hand, when cars were first introduced, there were 24 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled. This shows that over time, cars, drivers and roads improve, which reduces the number of deaths.

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