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America is leading the way in a new era of mobility freedom. Autonomous vehicle (AV) technologies being born today will soon be on our streets. These technologies will give Americans greater mobility, increased safety, and — just as importantly — more savings.
Despite the promise of AVs, the public remains skeptical. A few weeks ago, AAA released a poll showing that 73 percent of U.S. drivers would be afraid to ride in a fully self-driving vehicle, up 10 percent from a poll at the end of 2017. Even among tech-savvy millennials, anxiety skyrocketed from 49 percent to 64 percent.
Numbers - Result - Media - Scrutiny - Crashes
These numbers are likely the result of intense (but deserved) media scrutiny after high-profile crashes involving autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles. While these accidents were tragedies, as a society, we barely pay attention to the tragedy playing out on our streets with over 100 Americans killed in motor vehicle accidents every day.
Last year, more than 37,000 Americans were killed on U.S. roads, and millions more were involved in non-fatal accidents. Human error is estimated to have caused more than 90 percent of those accidents.
Deaths - Cost - Freedom - Way - Vehicles
Sadly, we just accept these deaths as the social cost of the freedom to travel. It does not have to be this way, and we must demand better. Autonomous vehicles have the potential to usher in a world where the “four Ds” — drunk, drugged, distracted and drowsy driving — never take another life or destroy another family.
The benefits of AVs do not only apply to civilian roads. The Department of Defense estimates more than half of battlefield casualties occur while delivering food, fuel and other logistics to the front lines. DOD’s automated vehicle plans could cut combat casualties in half.
Policymakers - Industry - Leaders - Adoption
Policymakers and industry leaders should speed adoption...
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