If switching to a self-driving car could reduce your auto insurance rate by 80 percent, would you do it? According to a survey conducted by carinsurance.com, nine out of 10 people would trade a car they control themselves for one controlled by a computer. However, the consumer attraction toward a self-driving car is founded almost entirely on the possible auto insurance savingsconsumer confidence in self-driving cars is not nearly as consensual. 2 percent of that same sample surveyed indicated that they believe humans drive cars with more awareness and expertise than a computer can. So there is a glaring tradeoff between a desire to decrease auto insurance rates and an aversion toward self-driving cars. And resolving a tradeoff presupposes a weighing of benefits and drawbacks. But in this scenario, there may only be benefits.
Another survey conducted by the Eno Center for Transportation reflects that self-driving cars can navigate roads better than drivers. Their study showed that 90 percent of traffic accidents were due to operator errors not deficiencies in the vehicles themselves. This study puts forth that if 90 percent of the vehicles in the U.S. were self-automated, almost 22,000 lives could be spared and $450 billion dollars saved annually. So can these findings be put into practice? The answer seems to be yes. Nevada and California enacted laws to allow the licensing of self-driving cars. Other states have started testing the cars including Florida and New York and decisions are pending on the matter in Michigan, New Jersey and Washington D.C. As self-driving cars have been in development since the 1950s, kinks in them have been ironed out, and while they will not replace vehicles that require a driver overnight, they are still considered a viable means of transportation, perhaps even safer than the cars we drive ourselves.