Autonomous Vehicles Won’t Need Safety Systems, Says Hella

When autonomous vehicles have proved themselves safe and reliable enough, carmakers could end up stripping them of safety features saving on costs, weight and complexity.

That’s the opinion of Neil Hilton, from auto parts supplier company Hella when he told TU-Automotive these vehicles with could become free of current safety systems, like seat belts, airbags, collision struts and crumple zone, which would be rendered pointless in a vehicle that can’t crash. “Autonomous cars are far, far safer than a standard car. Something like 92%, or even higher, accidents caused by human error, so if that can be decreased, the running cost of the vehicle can actually be decreased,” Hilton said.

The US’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) appears to back up Hilton’s claims, saying 94% of accidents are caused by dangerous choices people make behind the wheel. At the same time, insurance providers have seen ADAS and semi-autonomous systems lower their risks of claims albeit the extra costs of installing the technology has seen insurance premiums increase. “The insurance companies are quite keen to have the systems fitted. They don’t want to pay to have them repaired but they’re quite keen to have these systems fitted, because they do reduce accident rates.”

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