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Report: Self-driving cars will eliminate 90 percent of accidents

The automotive industry has made remarkable strides over the last few decades when it comes to vehicle safety technology. Indeed, some of the models rolling off assembly lines around the world now have safety features that would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

As impressive as lane-departure warning technology, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot alert systems are, however, a recently released report indicates that these features will be rendered obsolete sooner than later by the next generation of automobiles currently under development by automakers and technology companies alike.

The report in question, published by the consulting firm McKinsey & Co., makes the rather bold assertion that the roads and highways here in the U.S. will start to see the first generation of self-driving cars by as early as 2020, and that widespread adoption of this autonomous technology will occur by 2030.

As if this wasn't remarkable enough, the report, based on interviews with various industry insiders, goes on to claim that the widespread adoption of self-driving cars will see car accidents in the U.S. decline by as much as 90 percent.

This, it says, will result in a savings of up to $190 billion in both health care costs and damages and, more importantly, save thousands of lives.

While this is certainly encouraging, is it perhaps overly ambitious?

According to multiple experts, there are still significant obstacles that self-driving cars must first overcome before they can be relied upon as our primary mode of transportation. These include navigating inclement weather and operating where updated maps might not be readily available.

Furthermore, it is worth pointing out that statistics show that in the 2014 model year only 8.4 percent of vehicles had lane-departure warning technology, 1.4 percent had adaptive cruise control and 10.1 percent had blind-spot alert systems. This suggests that it takes time to develop and implement new technology in the automotive industry.

What are your thoughts on this report? Do you think self-driving cars will be here sooner than later?

Consider speaking with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible if you have suffered serious injuries or lost a loved one in a car crash caused by the negligence of another motorist.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Self-driving cars could cut down on accidents, study says," Mike Ramsey, March 5, 2015

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