The autonomous vehicle startup Waymo, a division of Alphabet, has made the ground-breaking claim that its driverless taxis are far safer than those operated by humans. Based on 7.13 million miles of fully autonomous driving in Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, an exhaustive safety analysis led to the revelation. Peer review is required to validate the statistics, but they show that Waymo’s autonomous cars cause injuries at a rate that is 6.8 times lower than that of human-driven cars—a remarkable 85% reduction.
Examining the data, Waymo finds that there has been a 57% decrease in crashes that the police have reported, demonstrating the safety benefits of autonomous driving even further. In real terms, this means that over the 7.1 million miles traveled by Waymo’s autonomous vehicles, there were 17 fewer injuries and 20 fewer crashes that were reported to the police than in the fictitious scenario in which human drivers were at the wheel. The study highlights how autonomous vehicle manufacturers scrupulously disclose even the smallest collisions, whereas traditional auto accidents involving human drivers frequently go unreported, especially in minor events.
This announcement comes at a critical time for the autonomous driving space, since Cruise, Waymo’s primary rival, is experiencing difficulties. General Motors’ Cruise has halted operations countrywide after a number of mishaps, including a collision with a pedestrian. The discrepancy between Cruise’s difficulties and Waymo’s encouraging safety statistics highlights the complexity and unpredictability of the autonomous vehicle market.
Waymo’s continuous operations in San Francisco, even in the face of industry headwinds, demonstrate its unwavering dedication to driving forward autonomous technology and upholding a high standard of safety. The company’s safety report attempts to promote openness in the autonomous vehicle industry by offering insightful information to academics, researchers, and regulators that are interested in AV safety. Waymo’s dedication to ongoing development and openness establishes a favorable standard for the future of self-driving technology, even as the autonomous driving sector negotiates governmental scrutiny and public opinion.