Waymo Vehicles Proven Safer Than Human-Driven

A groundbreaking study led by Swiss Re reveals that Waymo’s autonomous vehicles are considerably safer than human-operated cars. This study stems from a collaborative effort initiated in 2022 between Waymo and Swiss Re, a top-tier global reinsurer, focusing on refining risk assessment techniques for autonomous vehicles.

Why It Matters

There’s long been a debate on whether autonomous vehicles surpass human drivers in safety. However, gauging this has been complex due to the absence of a concrete human performance benchmark for comparison. By leveraging liability insurance claims data, this research offers a unique perspective on the matter, filling the existing knowledge gap.

Key Points

  • During the 3.8 million miles autonomously driven by Waymo in San Francisco and Phoenix, no bodily injury claims emerged, and property damage claims frequency saw a substantial decline.
  • The study employed Waymo’s liability claims data and juxtaposed it with Swiss Re’s mileage- and zip-code-calibrated baselines for human-driven vehicles. Swiss Re’s baseline was derived from over 600,000 claims spanning more than 125 billion miles.
  • Findings indicated that the Waymo Driver, Waymo’s autonomous driving tech, slashed property damage claims frequency by 76% (a drop from 3.26 to 0.78 claims per million miles) relative to human drivers.
  • The Waymo Driver eradicated bodily injury claims altogether, in stark contrast to Swiss Re’s 1.11 human driver baseline claims per million miles.
  • This research signifies the first instance of using liability claims data to contrast the safety of autonomous and human drivers — made feasible through the collaboration.

Bottom Line

By eradicating various human driving risks, autonomous driving tech will revolutionize insurance risk assessment. Swiss Re’s alliance with Waymo is pioneering new methods to appraise autonomous vehicle safety. As Mauricio Peña, Waymo’s Chief Safety Officer, noted, this trailblazing research furnishes compelling evidence of Waymo Driver enhancing road safety. Luigi Di Lillo of Swiss Re echoes this sentiment, emphasizing the crucial role of such studies in bolstering autonomous vehicle adoption.