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Automated Vehicles for Safety
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration outlines the progression of automated vehicle technology and the ways it will improve safety. The NHTSA released safety guidelines for industry, states, and policymakers in 2017 (Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety), and an expanded set of guidelines in 2018 (Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0). Both documents are linked in the NHTSA in Action section at the end of this report.
90% of serious crashes occur because of human errors. Automated vehicles have the potential to remove human error as a safety factor in vehicles. This will benefit drivers and passengers as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Increased safety will also have economic benefits. In 2010, vehicle crashes cost $242 billion.
Automated vehicles could also improve efficiency and mobility. Efficiency might be improved in terms of traffic flow, fuel costs, and vehicle emissions, as well as freeing up time previously spent operating vehicles for other activities. Mobility will improve by providing access to transportation for people with disabilities, creating access to services and jobs that might not have been accessible before.
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