Cruise, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute present groundbreaking study establishing a human driving safety benchmark
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SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 27, 2023 ~ Cruise Autonomous Vehicle and The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) have partnered to create a human benchmark to measure the safety performance of Cruise's driverless fleet in San Francisco. This research, conducted in collaboration with General Motors and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), offers a nuanced safety performance measure.

The study was conducted over a two year period, observing 5.6 million miles of human ridehail driving data in the city of San Francisco, excluding select high speed roads (e.g. posted speeds of greater than 35 mph). Based on the combined data collected from UMTRI's large-scale fleet study and VTTI's precision-instrument study, researchers were able to capture a robust measurement of the human ride hail crash rate.

According to Dr. Carol Flannagan, lead author of the paper and research professor at UMTRI, "What's been missing in autonomous vehicle research is a benchmark that goes beyond the available data and accurately reflects the human driver. With support from General Motors and Cruise, experts at UMTRI were able to take a groundbreaking new approach to generating human-driver benchmarks in environments comparable to ADS deployments."

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The results showed that compared to the ridehail drivers in the study, Cruise estimates that its AVs were involved in 65% fewer collisions overall, 94% fewer collisions as the primary contributor, and 74% fewer collisions with meaningful risk of injury.

Louise Zhang, Cruise's Vice President of Safety & Systems said "This research provides authentic insights into the driving habits of human ridehail operators, and offers tremendous value in our quest to make our roads safer for all through the broad introduction of safe self-driving vehicles." She added "Our gratitude extends to UMTRI and VTTI for their innovation and academic integrity. This study exemplifies Cruise's longstanding commitment to safety."

Cruise Autonomous Vehicle has taken an innovative approach by partnering with The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and other leading transportation research institutes such as General Motors and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to create a human benchmark for measuring safety performance for its driverless fleet in San Francisco. This research provides valuable insights into how autonomous vehicles can be made safer for everyone on our roads.
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