Another day, another concern for autonomous cars. At the end of the day, the policy makers of the world are the ones who are going to be allowing autonomous cars to take to the streets globally, and the fight is heating up.
Dr. Ian Noy, a policy maker in the Canadian government has expressed his distrust in autonomous cars. He said, "There's no factual basis for the claim that autonomous cars will prevent 90% of traffic accidents." According to Globes, Noy was a guest at the annual Or Yarok safety convention. Noy is also a civil engineer who focused on safety and transportation during his career.
The claim had originally been made back in 2015 that autonomous cars would equal fewer accidents on the world's road. The claim was made by the ENO Center for Transportation, that pointed out in June 2015, thirty-two thousand people had died in car crashes with driver error believed to be the main reason. Ryan Haggeman is a civil liberties policy analyst at the libertarian advocacy organization Niskanen Center and had advocated for self-driving technology in 2014. He said, "In theory if you have 100 percent fully autonomous vehicles on the road while you still might have accidents on the margin in rare situations, you're basically looking at anywhere from a 95 to 99.99 percent reduction in total fatalities and injuries on the road." (Source: TechTimes).
Noy has now rejected these notions in 2016, saying, "If only that were true. But the truth is 'human error' is the default explanation for every accident. It's what police officers and accident investigators write on their reports because they cannot prove the cause, not because facts show a misjudgement by the driver."
Noy has a point, due to the recent Google Volvo that caused a crash between itself and a bus, leading to an entire hearing in Congress as the option of self-driving cars is weighed in America as a whole.
Enter: Ford's self-driving, see-in-the-dark car.
In a project called Project: Nightonomy, Ford enters the gauntlet of companies trying to create the next self-driving, safe, vehicle. Jim Bride, Ford's technical leader for autonomous vehicles, says, "To do something as ambitious as making a car drive itself, you need lots of testing and lots of places so you can cover all the scenarios you might ever expect to see."
One of the more complex issues for self-driving cars was the ability to see in the dark and drive in the dark. It seems that Ford is nailing the ability to do that and could be saving people those risky night trips of driving in horribly dark areas, thereby making autonomous cars even safer - statistically - and making the case for cars that save lives.