If you have been paying attention to the car industry lately, you might have seen some of the bold claims coming from the main producers. Many of these relate to safety. Take Volvo as an example. Volvo are aiming to have no more accidents in their cars by 2020. In other words, they are looking to bring ‘deathproof’ cars to the market. While this is an attractive idea, it’s important to question just how realistic this goal is.
What Will It Take?
Well, around ninety percent of car accidents are caused by human error, so let’s start there. Human error simply means that a driver or a passenger or another road users made a mistake that caused the crash. This is the most common cause for accidents on the road today. It could be anything from the driver falling asleep to going a little too quickly to being distracted. It could all result in a potentially fatal crash.
How do you remove the issue of human error? Simple, you take humans out of the equation and hey presto, human error is immediately eliminated. The way car producers are looking to do this is with autonomous, self driving cars. So, how close are they to making this a reality?
The Current State Of The Smart Car
No, not that smart car. The car we’re talking about will drive you anywhere, hopefully at speeds that mean you won’t have to take over when you want to cruise. Now, there are already self-driving cars on the road. Many of the cars are produced by companies like Tesla. But it’s important to realise that the tech isn’t perfect. It’s got a long way to go before it can be considered completely safe. For instance, while Tesla cars do theoretically drive themselves, the company states quite clearly you should have your hands on the wheel at all times. This should show you just how confident the company is that the car won’t crash. If that’s not enough to worry you, check out this test video of Volvo’s self-driving vehicle.
So, it seems that 2020 goal might be a tad unrealistic then? And, even if you do take human’s out the equation, there’s that other ten percent. How do we fix that?
Making Cars Safer
Cars are already pretty safe. Everything about a car is usually designed to ensure that the chances of injury or serious injuries in an accident are as small as possible. That includes the fact that the front of the car takes the brunt of the collision. But accidents still happen. You can learn from the Rybak Firm about these type of accidents, and the situation drivers often end up in. What if your tire bursts while you’re on the road? This can’t always be prevented, and a self-driving car might not even save you if it can’t keep control of the vehicle. That means you will crash and depending on your speed you could suffer a serious accident.
Is there any way to prevent this? Well, you would need sensors to constantly check which areas are and aren’t safe to drive. You would also need tires that immediately repair or seal after a puncture. Again, this tech exists, but it’s either underdeveloped or too expensive for the general market.
So, while the safety goals of car developers are admirable, at the moment, they aren’t looking too realistic.