94% of accidents on US roads were caused due to human error. Given our track record, most automotive experts agree that self-driving cars have the potential to increase road safety.
Yet, self-driving cars are perceived to be far more unsafe. 6 in 10 pedestrians in the US would feel unsafe in a city with self-driven cars. Every time a self-driven car is involved in an accident, it makes global headlines.
Despite knowing that people are more reckless, we would rather trust a preson behind the wheel. It is freaky for us to imagine a machine that drives itself. But given how many people die on our roads every day, tens of thousands of lives depend upon our changing our attitude.
Self-driven cars are unsafe, compared to what?
The underlying problem is that we don’t realize is how unsafe humans are as drivers. Imagine that you being driven on a highway and your chauffeur comes down with a terrible bout of hiccups. A human driver is prone to distraction, mood-swings, overconfidence, sleepiness, coughs, sneezes, panic attacks and every bit of biological baggage that comes from being a species of ape.
We need to put things in perspective. Given a choice between a self-driven car and an ape-driven car, which one would you prefer?