Autonomous vehicles (AVs) or self-driving cars coming sooner to the market than expected is not just a personal opinion, but it is a trend hitting the Top 10 of Emerging Technologies 2016 list. The list is compiled by the World Economic Forum’s Meta-Council on Emerging Technologies and it is published in collaboration with Scientific American The report, which can be downloaded here, highlights technological advances its members believe have the power to improve lives, transform industries and safeguard the planet.
The key driver for the upcoming rise of autonomous vehicles will be safety. The UN-report “Global status on road safety 2013” shows that traffic accidents are the cause of 1.3 MM deaths worldwide and 15 MM people injured every year. If the infrastructure in a country improves, the number of victims decreases accordingly. Nevertheless crashes and collisions in the United States, claim more than 30,000 lives and cause some 2.3 MM injuries annually. In The Netherlands, which is somewhat renowned for its excellent road infrastructure, still 621 people died and 20.000 were injured in 2015.
So even if it will take some decades before the complete carpark of a country will be turned into autonomous cars, semiautonomous safety systems that only to prevent accidents, will also likely reduce the human cost of driving significantly.
What do you think the Public Service or companies could do to even increase the speed of adoption of autonomous vehicles?