The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has added up the numbers and divided by its show size and worked out that test fleets of self-driving cars have been having less accidents over the last six years.
To be fair, the study was commissioned by Alphabet Google unit so we would expect that finding. It looked only at Google’s fleet of more than 50 self-driving cars, which have logged 1.3 million miles in Texas and California in self-driving mode.
The test fleet has reported 17 crashes over the last six years, although none were the fault of the self-driving cars, Google said.
The study estimated cars with drivers behind the wheel are involved in 4.2 crashes per million miles, versus 3.2 crashes per million miles for self-driving cars in autonomous mode.
Crash rates for conventional vehicles at all severity levels were higher than self-driving crash rates, the study found.
A study released in October by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute compared crash rates among Google, Delphi and Audi self-driving cars in 2013 and found they had a higher rate than for conventional cars.
But that study noted the low volume of driverless miles — 1.2 million compared with 3 trillion miles driven annually on U.S. roads.