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Delightful: Improved safety

Last updated: May 3, 2016

By , Insure.com

Freeway traffic

There were 32,719 fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in the U.S. in 2013, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Another 2.3 million people were injured. (This is not the delightful part.)

Autonomous cars avoid the habits that commonly lead to accidents - driving too fast, following other cars too closely, not checking a blind spot - because they are programmed to observe best practices in driving safety. Representatives from Google's self-driving car project say the data confirms that its computer-driven cars operate more smoothly and more safely than their human-piloted counterparts.

"I think by far the greatest benefit (of autonomous cars) is a dramatic reduction in deaths and injuries," says Don Norman, author of the book "The Design of Future Things" and director of the Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, in an email interview. "Even imperfect automation will be superior to imperfect human driving."

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