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Are Self Driving Cars Safe?

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Understanding Safety in Self-Driving Cars

Vehicle technology has come a long way. We can now command our vehicles to read our text messages and answer them as well as get navigation directions to the nearest restaurant. While fully automated self-driving cars are not yet available, there are some features that are used today. Read on to learn more about what is considered a self-driving car and their level of safety.

What is Considered a Self-Driving Car?

Before you can understand how safe a self-driving car is, it’s important to know how these high-tech vehicles are defined:

  • Autonomous – a car that relies on sensors, electronic control systems, machine learning systems, and software. An autonomous car will follow the directions of the driver.
  • Self-Driving – a car that can drive itself in some or all situations with a human passenger present.

Here are the five levels of driving automation:

  • Level 0 – No automation with total human control.
  • Level 1 – The vehicle has single automated features such as speed monitoring and cruise control with driver assistance.
  • Level 2 – the vehicle has partial automation and can perform steering and acceleration with human control at any time.
  • Level 3 – the vehicle has conditional automation with environmental detection capabilities and can perform most driving tasks with human control at any time.
  • Level 4 – The vehicle has high automation and performs all driving tasks under certain conditions with human control at any time. Geofencing is needed.
  • Level 5 – the vehicle has full automation and performs all driving tasks under any circumstance without any human interaction.

Safety Features of Autonomous Cars

The below safety elements are some of the top features equipped in today’s high-tech vehicles and can help to reduce the risk of a severe accident:

Automatic Braking Features

  • Rear Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) – detects a potential collision while traveling in reverse and automatically applies the brakes to avoid or lessen the severity of impact.
  • High-Speed Automatic Emergency Braking (HAEB) – automatically applies brakes to reduce the severity of a collision when traveling at highway speeds.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) – automatically applies brakes to avoid or lessen the severity of impact.

Lane Warning Features

  • Lane Centering Assist (LCA) – continuous automatic steering to stay in between lanes.
  • Lane Keeping Assistance (LKA) – helps drivers to steer and maintain the vehicle within the driving lane.
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning (RCTW) – detects when vehicles are approaching from the side or rear of the vehicle and alerts the driver.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) – monitors a vehicle’s position in the driving lane and alerts the driver as the vehicle begins to approach or cross a lane marker.

Adaptive Cruise Control Feature

Also known as ACC, this feature assists drivers with acceleration and braking to keep safe distances between drivers and the vehicle ahead.

Pedestrian Detection Feature

Also known as PD, the driver is issued a warning and emergency braking may be triggered should a pedestrian be detected. Some PD features can also detect bicyclists.

Forward Collision Warning

Also known as FCW, the driver is alerted to impending collisions when traveling forward.

Contact a Kansas City Car Accident Lawyer

Being involved in a car accident is a scary experience — and dealing with insurance companies can be a harrowing task, especially when you aren’t sure of your rights. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we can help. When insurance companies push back, we’ll fight them hard to get you the maximum compensation that you deserve. Our experienced attorneys are here for you every step of the way.

Call Peterson & Associates, P.C. today at 816-888-8888 to speak with an attorney about your potential case. We are offering consultations via phone, email, and video conferencing for your convenience.