“Subaru cars waiting for ride” by JackeOb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Self-Driving Cars Can’t Eliminate All Accidents So How Safe is Safe Enough?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
“Subaru cars waiting for ride” by JackeOb is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0Dr. Peng Liu, Assistant Professor
Department of Industrial Engineering
College of Management and Economics
Tianjin University, China

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? 

Response: Self-driving vehicles promise to considerably reduce traffic crashes. However, they cannot eliminate all crashes.

On March 18, 2018, a female pedestrian was killed after being struck by an autonomous Uber vehicle in the self-driving mode in Arizona, USA. This fatal crash triggered a widespread public debate over the safety of self-driving vehicles. So, how safe is safe enough for self-driving vehicles?

Our findings show that our participants implicitly think self-driving vehicles should be four to five times as safe as the current human-driven vehicles. 

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Readers might be interested in the their implicit attitude toward their requirement for the safety of self-driving vehicles. If the safety of self-driving vehicles meet their certain expectations, they may entrust their safety to self-driving vehicles. 

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work? 

Response: Our results are obtained from a single survey, not conclusive. We expect to replicate this research in more countries and larger populations. We need to understand what factors influence the acceptable level of risks caused by autonomous vehicles.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: We believe autonomous vehicles are very critical in improving road safety in the future. Government regulatory authorities, industry, and manufacturers need to understand public voices, values, concerns, and expectations in the process of developing autonomous vehicles.


Liu, P. , Yang, R. and Xu, Z. (2018), How Safe Is Safe Enough for Self‐Driving Vehicles?. Risk Analysis. . doi:10.1111/risa.13116





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Last Updated on July 13, 2018 by Marie Benz MD FAAD