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What is a self driving car? Does it help prevent accidents?

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

A self-driving car will not require any driver input and has the ability to navigate for itself independently. It utilizes on-board sensors and equipment, to have a 360 view of the road and its surroundings at all times. Since the technology is so advanced and it removes the driver from the equation it is supposed to reduce the amount of human errors made.

Cars today can be charged electrically, have full touch screens, answer questions you have and now even drive themselves. So what does that mean for drivers? Are the roads safer because technology now has such capabilities or did things not change much at all? Our accident attorneys wanted to provide information on the topic, based off the little that is known about these vehicles.

How autonomous cars have evolved

Believe it or not cars had autonomous features for quite some time now, no they weren’t fully able to drive themselves, but the features some cars offered were the first steps into getting to that point. These features started as early as the 1950s, gotta love that cruise control, this feature was a starting point and now is featured in most if not all cars.

The early 2000s then brought about safety features we all know and love such as the blind spot detectors, forward collision warnings, and lane departure warnings. These technologies were able to use sensors to detect danger. It wasn’t until 2010 though, that technology evolved to even shift the car back into place or automatically brake for you. Now the estimation in 2025 is that cars will be able to be fully automated.

So what features do autonomous cars currently have?

These cars are probably some of the most impactful uses of AI and are still pretty much in their trial phases. Automation has numerous different levels based on a cars built in capabilities.

  • Level 1: cruise control, acceleration and lane changes.

  • Level 2: Advanced cruise control and autopilot systems (emergency braking)

  • Level 3: able to perform some “safety-critical functions” in certain conditions.

  • Level 4: A car that can drive itself almost all the time without any input from a driver but might be programmed not to drive in unmapped areas or during severe weather.

  • Level 5 automation: Full automation in all conditions.

Most cars today fall into the level 1 and 2 category but there are a few others that are in the 3 and 4 category, none have fully reached the 5th level yet.

Which cars on the market currently are mostly autonomous?

There’s very few cars that reach those upper level autonomous features such as the Tesla Model S, Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes Benz E class, Volvo V9, etc. These car display capabilities that were previously unimaginable. Yet now the question is are they proven to make roads safer?

Are Autonomous cars making roads safer?

Well, there’s actually a very short answer to this question. Since no cars are fully autonomous everything is just prediction based. Based on the research done based on the technology out there it is said the autonomous cars will reduce the accident rate by at least 90%.

This technology is not only able to predict when things are about to happen but with its new capabilities in the making they will be able to stop or maneuver themselves out of danger. Not to mention they are constantly on, meaning they have 0 distraction and are immune to small human errors.

What do you as accident attorneys think?

Even with the newfound capabilities and upcoming developments of cars there are still errors and the possibility of an accident. It’s important to note these features can definitely help support drivers but it's still important for drivers to be aware and alert while in a vehicle. Especially right now with these cars still in their trial phases. This past year it was reported that at least 400 accidents involved some of today's higher leveled autonomous cars. That means since there is still room for improvement there is still room for error.

So if you or a loved one at any point in time are involved in a car accident call Demesmin and Dover law firm your accident attorneys to help. Call to start your free consultation today at 866-954-MORE.

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