It may come as no surprise to many that autonomous vehicles are on the rise, becoming more common across the country. There are many promising statistics surrounding these vehicles, such as an expected saving of $127 billion in damages worldwide by 2027. It has also been stated that there will be an expected reduction of roadway fatalities by 90% by the year 2050.
While these statistics look promising, to say the least, there isn’t any information on how autonomous vehicles will impact motorcyclists. Well, as a baseline, for every billion miles traveled, there are 238 motorcycle-related deaths and 7 car-related deaths, making riding a motorcycle thirty-six times more dangerous than driving behind the wheel.
How Safe Are Driverless Cars?
Last year around this time, there was a lawsuit filed against GM by a motorcyclist who was struck by one of the company’s autonomous Chevy Bolts. This was filed by Oscar Nilsson, and according to his story, Oscar was behind the Bolt when it began to change lanes out of nowhere. As Oscar adjusted to get out of the vehicle’s way, the vehicle shifted back, knocking him to the floor causing injuries both to his neck and shoulder.
Surprisingly (to none,) GM denied that statement and came back saying the Nilsson merged into the Bolt’s lane “before it was safe to do so.” The details of the settlement have not been made public, but there has been news stating that both parties have mutually agreed on the final settlement.
Motorcycles Joining In on the Fun?
BMW is currently almost finished fully developing its driverless motorcycle, with the goal to not only sell a self-driving motorcycle but one that will perform more safely under “critical riding conditions.” Similar to how most modern vehicles have features like automatic emergency braking or lane adjustment technology, BMW is aiming to start by cutting down on themost avoidable accident types.
While this isn’t a guarantee to ensure safety across the boards, it seems to be a vast improvement from what we have now, as far as self-driving motorcycles go—which is nothing. If BMW is successful in developing the technology necessary to make these things happen, it may rejuvenate the nation’s interest in motorcycles.