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There Is No Need to Be Afraid of Self-Driving Vehicles

The latest crash involved a Tesla Model X car, shown. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The latest crash involved a Tesla Model X car, shown. David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On average, nearly 3,000 people lose their lives in car accidents all over the world each day and 94 percent of such accidents are caused by human error. So people would think that the arrival of self-driving cars should be widely welcomed .

However they might be wrong in some sense. Not long ago, the first death caused by a semi-autonomous car has occurred . It is said that Joshua Brown in Florida has been watching Harry Potter when his Tesla Model S collided with a truck. Now another crash was reported in Pennsylvania by the Detroit Free Press.that a Tesla Model X hit a concrete median in the middle of a highway, fortunately  Albert Scaglionebut, the car driver, together with Tim Yanke, his son-in-law, both survived.

Although this latest accident has not yet been confirmed by Tesla, it was claimed by the driver that it really happened. In a statement, Tesla said that according to their data, the autopilot feature had not been engaged when the accident occurred.

Tesla said to Gizmodo that they had no data to demonstrate Autopilot was active at the moment of the incident, because when a significant accident occurred, Tesla would get a crash detection alert. The practice of Tesla towards all collisions was that they would immediately help the customer to ensure that he was safe. Before they get the customer response, Tesla could not go for further investigate.

According to Dale Vukovich of the Pennsylvania State Police, the car hit a guard rail at the side of the road, veering out of control into the median and rolling onto its roof.

Obviously, such events are very tragic ones. However, we should re-iterate, cars without human driving are ultimately much safer than human drivers, albeit with a few ethical issues to be solved. Of course there was always a huge media coverage when any death was caused by such vehicles, but in  fact they are really safer.

For instance, Brown’s crash is the first fatality in 210 million kilometers driven on Tesla’s autopilot mode. In comparison The average for human drivers in the US is 160 million kilometers.

Now Tesla is under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the accident, however it is hoped by some futurists that this accident is labeled just as a freak accident, and not an argument against increasing the adoption of self-driving vehicles.