With over $340 billion lost to traffic accidents each year in the US, we could be looking at savings of up to $306 billion per year if all the cars on the roads were fully autonomous.
In order to come up with these figures, experts at Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) calculated not just the potential GDP savings through driverless cars in the US, but in more than 73 countries.
The US of course topped the list, with over $340 billion in losses, the largest amount of GDP lost in the world. The study also revealed that an estimated 90% of crashes are caused by human error – so eliminating those would be massive from a financial standpoint.
“This research has to facets to it, on the one hand there is the amount of money which we spend on accidents each year, which in itself is interesting,” explains head of GPS, Lucille Michaut. “Then you realize how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology.”
“Governments will never spend on investing in things like this unless there is concrete evidence, but here we have proved there are strong economic reasons to invest in driverless technology, as well as the obvious improvement to public safety.”
According to The Hill, all these potential economic and safety benefits of autonomous technology are emerging at a time when traffic fatalities are actually climbing – with 35,092 reported fatalities in 2015, the largest spike in 50 years.