RAND: Don’t Make the Perfect the Enemy of the Good

Researchers with the RAND Corporation have suggested that putting autonomous vehicles on the road before they are perfect can save lives. The researchers developed a model to estimate the number of lives saved or lost under 500 scenarios. The scenarios differed based on eight factors, including when driverless cars were introduced, how quickly they were adopted by consumers, and how they improved over time. According to this analysis, introducing automated vehicles when they are slightly safer than the average human would save some 500,000 more lives than waiting to introduce such vehicles until they are perfect. One reason is that automated vehicles will improve more quickly as they become more widespread on the roads.

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