How Safe Are Self-driving Or Autonomous Driving Cars?

Alexander Powell Cheltenham
3 min readApr 5, 2021


How Safe Are Self-driving Or Autonomous Driving Cars?

Human drivers will always be safer compared to automated driving systems where there is no one but a machine calling the shots. Think about it, self-driving cars would never have the amount of experience you have gained from the years you’ve spent driving, however, you’d be surprised at how safe fully autonomous vehicles are.

The Safety Of Automated Vehicles

How exactly is automated driving technology compared to natural human errors? It’s a tricky question, but by looking at the statistics, it will surely give a conclusion.

Are Self-Driving Vehicles Safer?

Even if we say that self-driving cars do get in fewer accidents than human drivers, it’s hard to answer the question of who is to blame within these accidents. Before they come into today’s society, they need to be addressed and have regulations put in place.

Addressing these concerns, let’s look at how safe automated self-driving cars need to be if they were to beat humans in a safety competition. Research that was published by the United States Department Of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (USDOT NHTSA) concluded that 94% of all traffic accidents occured between the years 2005 and 2007 were the result of a driver error.

Nearly all car crashes across the United States could be put to a halt if one or all drivers were paying more attention to the subjects in front of them. From this, it begins to look like that self-driving vehicles don’t have to be 100% and perfect, they just need to be able to prevent more accidents than humans can to be recognised.

Looking into some of the data that was gathered from many automated car studies around the globe, it’s looking hopeful. In February of 2020, Google’s automated vehicle hit a bus, marking one of only a few crashes since the project began.

While Google’s automated vehicle program is still in an ongoing process and being developed, many automated car crashes cause concern in the public. A subtle stigma is developing among these self driving cars because of its faults, but if it falls lower than human fault, shouldn’t we have more trust in it?

So far the statistics from the automated driving vehicle program already fall lower than natural human error, therefore, from a levelheaded prospective, self-driving autonomous cars are, in theory, safer than human drivers.

Arguably one of the biggest leaders in the autonomous industry, Elon Musk, had said that self-driving cars would be so safe that regulators would need to see if its worth banning manual driving completely since this would be the most dangerous option.

It’s as if the future is coming, and by using these smart and creative softwares sensing which decision to make is right in an instant would allow us to overcome every traffic issue in the world.

If the government doesn’t give automakers a clear path forward, they will be hesitant to include regulations for these automated vehicles. If one country does it, more countries are more than likely to follow, it’s that first step that’s important.

Does this mean we should trust it’s technology? That’s another question we need to ask ourselves before we make regulations in favour of our roads become automated.



Alexander Powell Cheltenham

My name is Alexander Powell and I’m based in Cheltenham, UK and I have many years of experience and passion for cars and everything car-related.