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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Self-driving cars expected to cut crashes, organ donations and millions of jobs

Ian Yarnold of the UK Department of Transport, right, and U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell, a Democrat from Michigan, were part of a Capitol Hill panel discussing government regulation of self-driving cars.
The panel discussion in the Russell Senate Office Building -- "Mobility Talks International" -- was part of The Washington Auto Show, known as "the public policy show," which celebrated its 75th anniversary this year. The show closed on Sunday.


WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Two-thirds of organ donations come from car crashes.

So, how will those donations be affected when self-driving cars rule the road and cut the number of crashes drastically?

Experts and government regulators discussed that question and others at a Capitol Hill panel discussion on Jan. 25.

The statistics flew:

In the United States, more than 35,000 people are killed in car crashes, and 2.7 million others are injured.

The cost of crashes was put at $980 billion.

Autonomous or self-driving cars are the biggest opportunity "to cut into the carnage," a panel member said.

But there are so many other potential consequences:

When self-driving cars make up a significant part of all vehicles on the road -- in 10 years to 15
years -- they are expected to put out of work millions of people employed as taxi, truck, limo and ride-sharing drivers.

A dramatic reduction in crashes also will send hundreds of thousands of insurance adjusters and body shop employees to the unemployment lines. 

See other coverage from
 the 2017 Washington Auto Show: