One of the major roadblocks of self-driving cars becoming practical in the real world is the safety of leaving such a task to a computer. With many autonomous vehicles linked to deaths during the last few years of testing and development, it might be safe to say we won’t be seeing an abundance of unmanned automobiles anytime soon. However, Chevrolet might change that.
Having produced their first round of self-driving vehicles back in June 2017, Chevrolet has been testing their self-driving Chevy Bolt EVs for several months now. Recently, their testing fleet has doubled to increase data collection and analysis of the vehicle’s success. Right now, we’re looking at a fleet of 100 autonomous vehicles by Chevrolet - but wait a second. Is it really a smart idea to put 100 self-driving vehicles on the road? Wouldn’t that increase the number of accidents if something goes wrong? Apparently, not when it comes to the self-driving Bolt EV.
Over the course of September 2017, six minor incidents had occurred; in all of 2017, the autonomous Chevy Bolt EV was involved in 13 reported collisions total. Now, here’s the kicker. All of those crashes and incidents were caused by human drivers. It’s almost laughable. These people on the road are worse drivers than an unmanned vehicle. That’s like crashing into a parked car, it just “came out of nowhere” right? Pfft.
The interesting bit is many of these human-causal accidents were due to human drivers who fail to follow basic traffic laws. These include running into a self-driving Chevrolet Bolt EV that is slowing down or stopping for stop signs and pedestrians, people who have a habit of doing a rolling stop versus coming to a complete stop, and of course, people who are too busy on their phone to pay attention to the road. Maybe it’s time we get those kind of people off the road and replace their car with a fully-autonomous vehicle - standard.
Award for the most ridiculous incident though goes to the drunk bicyclist that ran into a stationary autonomous Chevy Bolt EV. Incidents during testing phases are expected, that is why there is so much testing done. However, as it looks, self-driving cars may be ready for the world, but the world definitely isn’t ready for them.