Every year, more than 2 million people are injured and more than 30,000 killed in 6 million automobile crashes on U.S. roads. Widespread adoption of robot cars could have a revolutionary impact on these figures, potentially preventing 90 percent of crashes and saving thousands of lives every year. The impact of such a robotic revolution would go beyond transportation.
Robot cars may transform the automobile industry from one based on car ownership to one based on ride-share services. The auto insurance industry may wither, as the idea of personal car ownership slowly disappears. And without human drivers, or insurance policies to match, traditional approaches to liability when there are crashes may have to evolve.