Critics of autonomous cars might point out that the Apple vehicle, a modified Lexus, was traveling less than one mile per hour to merge when it was rear-ended at about fifteen miles per hour.. One of the major concerns people have voiced about these cars is that they tend to drive too cautiously in their attempts to stay safe. For example, they tend to stop abruptly when they think humans might appear, which can lead to rear-end collisions, as aggressive drivers aren’t used to that kind of defensive behavior.
On the other hand, the cars do set a good example, and perhaps it’s better that human drivers learn to accommodate overly-cautious vehicles. After all, most car accidents aren’t caused by drivers being too careful on the road. The biggest problem on the horizon for autonomous cars right now is going to be the fact that they have to drive alongside human-operated cars, which come with their own slew of variables. While both are on the road, there are bound to be accidents.
With that said, Apple’s self-driving program consists of 66 cars on the roads, with 111 drivers registered to operate them. One accident involving one autonomous vehicle out of countless driving hours is a pretty good track record, all things considered. The average number of car accidents in one year in the United States is six million, and that’s with more than 250 million vehicles on the road, driven by people who are all tired, overworked, distracted, and even intoxicated. As long as an autonomous car can’t get drunk or answer a text while driving, they’ll likely be a much safer mode of transportation.