Traffic accidents cost world economies billions each year, but with the development of autonomous driving technologies these costs could be reduced dramatically.
Autonomous driving technologies are revolutionising the automotive industry with their promise to improve vehicle safety and reduce traffic accidents, but what is the monetary impact of this on GDP? Experts at Global Positioning Specialists (GPS) 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.
Top 20 Countries Where Driverless Tech Could Save Billions:
The US topped the list of 73 countries, where over $340bn is lost to traffic accidents each year, the largest amount of GDP lost in the world. If all vehicles in the US were driverless, the amount of GDP lost could be substantially reduced. In particular, GDP lost to traffic accidents could be cut by over $306bn a year, making the roads considerably safer.
While the US lose the most GDP to traffic accidents, 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, where driverless tech could have reduced lost GDP by over $21bn.
The UK and Australia, ranking 8th and 9th respectively, both lose over $28bn GDP to traffic accidents each year. Driverless cars could save the UK and Australia over $25bn each year.
Lucile Michaut, head of GPS comments: “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. Then you realise how many of these accidents could be avoided with new driverless technology. 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.”
Sources: WHO Global Report on Road Safety 2015, World DataBank Gross Domestic Product 2015, and McKinsey & Company How Autonomous Cars Could Redefine The Automotive World 2016
Global Positioning Specialists