In 2015, there were more than 35,000 traffic deaths in the U.S. alone. Want to know how many of those were caused not by vehicle malfunctions or poor weather, but by the drivers themselves? 94 percent. Humans are prone to distraction, beholden to sleep schedules, and biased overall. Autonomous vehicles, meanwhile, don't glance at their phones or get on the road after a few beers. They're programmed to do one job: drive safely. Sensors can see in all directions at once, and machine-learning algorithms can take weather, traffic, and pedestrians into account to make important driving decisions in a split second.
Take one example that Nvidia automotive business unit director Danny Shapiro gave Business Insider: "...if you are driving along and there's a parked car with nobody in it, the vehicle will proceed next to that car. But if it sees the door is slightly open and there is somebody in it, well the expectation is that the door will open at any moment and someone will to try and get out of that car. So at that point, when the car senses that, it's either going to slow down, or switch lanes if it can, and proceed with caution. And because it has a full 360 degrees view around the car, it can be tracking multiple objects, with much greater things happening, with much greater accuracy than any human." While a human driver might never notice the door, or veer into a car in his blind spot to avoid it, a robot has all the information necessary to make the safest decision.