Safety Challenges and Analysis of Autonomous Electric Vehicle Development: Insights from On-Road Testing and Accident Reports

Qasim Ajao, Olukotun Oludamilare

Autonomous electric vehicles (AEVs) hold great promise for the future of automotive engineering, but safety remains a significant challenge in their development and commercialization. Therefore, conducting a comprehensive analysis of AEV development and reported accidents is crucial. This paper reviews the levels of automation in AEVs, their disengagement frequencies, and on-road accident reports. According to the report, numerous manufacturers thoroughly tested AEVs across a distance of more than 3.9 million miles between 2014 and 2022. Disengagement frequencies vary among manufacturers, and approximately 65% of accidents during this period occurred while AEVs were operating in autonomous mode. Notably, the majority of accidents (90%) were caused by other road users, with only a small fraction (approximately 8%) directly attributed to AEVs. Enhancing AEVs' ability to detect and mitigate safety risks from external sources has the potential to significantly improve their safety. This paper provides valuable insights into AEV safety by emphasizing the importance of comprehensively understanding AEV development and reported accidents. Through the analysis of disengagement and accident reports, the study highlights the prevalence of passive accidents caused by other road users. Future research should concentrate on enabling AEVs to effectively detect and respond to safety risks originating from external sources to enhance AEV safety. Overall, this analysis contributes to the ongoing efforts in AEV development and provides guidance for strategies aimed at improving their safety features.

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