The Adoption Of Autonomous Vehicles

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2.1 Introduction
There are roughly 250 million registered motor vehicles in the United States (Blanco, 2010). This corresponds to almost one vehicle for every citizen. According to the Federal
Highway Administration, the average American driver drives almost 40 miles every day (FHA, 2011). Given how heavily vehicles are used today, especially in the United States, their replacement with autonomous vehicles could easily have far-reaching implications.
The adoption of autonomous vehicles into society could affect a multitude of issues.
Among these issues are safety, cost, productivity, legality, public opinion, and the environment. Each will be touched upon in this section. It is important to have a general knowledge of these areas in order to better understand the speed at which autonomous vehicles might be adopted.
We’ve chosen these areas specifically because we expect them to be the biggest factors in the adoption of autonomous vehicles. However, it’s important to keep in mind that some of the technologies that will be discussed are still being developed. Therefore the implications that are dependent on technologies still being developed can be considered somewhat speculative.
2.2 Safety
One of the major incentives for developing autonomous vehicles is the potential impact on vehicle safety. In 2009, there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the US, resulting in 35,900 deaths (Census 2012). It’s estimated that over 90% of all accidents are due to
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