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Self-driving cars expected to reduce highway fatalities

Car accidents are extremely common in Arizona and the rest of the United States. In fact, thousands of Americans lose their lives each year in highway accidents caused by negligent drivers.

However, according to experts in the auto industry, the number of car accidents and highway fatalities could decrease dramatically as soon as self-driving cars hit the market.

While self-driving cars may seem like something out of a science fiction movie industry experts predict that they will account for half of the vehicles sold in the United States by the year 2035.

In a new report by IHS Automotive, it is predicted that all vehicles will have the ability to operate autonomously by the year 2050, which means that many of us will still be around to see this exciting change.

The study also predicted that as the percentage of self-driving cars on the road increases, the rate of car accidents will steadily decline. Additionally, traffic congestion and emissions should also improve with the new technology, the report said.

Admittedly, there are still many roadblocks that must be overcome before the predictions in IHS's report come to life. For one, technology must improve by leaps and bounds before a trustworthy autonomous vehicle will be affordable to the masses.

Even so, several auto manufacturers are already making plans to release their first models of the self-driving vehicles. Nissan, for one, has said that its first self-driving vehicles will be going into production by 2020, which is less than a decade away.

Granted, the IHS report indicated that the first models of self-driving cars will likely require a human co-pilot in case the technology should encounter a problem. But soon after, the experts say, no co-pilot will be needed.

Source: NBC News, “Self-driving cars popular by mid-century: study,” Paul A. Eisenstein, Jan. 6, 2014

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