Traffic accidents cost world economies billions each year. The development of autonomous driving technologies could reduce these costs dramatically.
Autonomous driving technologies aim to revolutionize the automotive industry with a promise to improve vehicle safety and reduce accidents. But what is the monetary impact of this on GDP?
Experts at Global Positioning Specialists have revealed how much GDP could be saved through driverless cars in 73 countries. GPS combined the percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents with the total GDP of each country alongside the percentage that driverless tech could reduce traffic accidents to calculate both the total GDP lost to traffic accidents each year and the amount of GDP that driverless technology could save.
“This research has two facets to it, on the one hand there is the amount of money which we spend on accidents each year, which in itself is interesting,” says Lucile Michaut, head of GPS. “Then you realize how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology.”
The US topped the list of 73 countries, where over $340 billion is lost to traffic accidents each year, the largest amount of GDP lost in the world. If all vehicles in the US were driverless, GDP lost to traffic accidents could be cut by over $306 billion a year.
South Africa has the highest percentage of GDP lost to traffic accidents in the world (7.8%), but because of a much lower GDP, South Africa ranked 13th. The UK and Australia each lose over $28 billion GDP to traffic accidents each year. Driverless cars could save them each $25 billion per year, according to GPS.
“Governments will never spend on investing in things like this unless there is concrete evidence, but here we have proved there are strong economic reasons to invest in driverless technology, as well as the obvious improvement to public safety,” said Michaut.