85 Out of 88 Autonomous Vehicle Collisions in California Caused Due to Human Errors, in 2019

Click Here for the Complete Data set of Accidents Involving Autonomous Vehicles in California




SOURCE: California Department of Motor Vehicles


av_coliisions_in_autonomous_modeAutonomous vehicles have been at the center of numerous debates concerning vehicle safety, for a considerable amount of time. Zimlon gathered the entire set of PDF AV collision reports of 2019 from the California Department of Motor Vehicles and meticulously arranged them in a structured format to analyze the cause of autonomous vehicles database,  dig deeper and contribute to this debate on safety. Our analysis revealed that Autonomous Vehicles cause fewer accidents while operating in the autonomous mode than the conventional mode. In short, human errors seems to cause more accidents. 

Using the data gathered from the California DMV, Zimlon has found that Autonomous Vehicles have been involved in collisions on 88 separate occasions. While this number might not bode well for an argument on vehicle safety, further analysis reveals the mode in which the vehicle was operating at the time of the collision. 

Among the 88 collisions the California DMV reported, 69 collisions occurred due to the fault of Vehicle 2 (the vehicle with which the collision occurred), which is not autonomous. The California DMV’s reports have a detailed analysis of how these accidents occurred. A mere 18 collisions have occurred due to the fault of the Autonomous Vehicle. Further research reveals that 15 of these collisions occurred when the vehicle was operating in the conventional mode. This means that 83 percent of accidents involving an Autonomous Vehicle were due to human error. 

Furthermore, the three collisions which occurred while operating autonomously had zero fatalities. Although the one instance when the AV collided with and injured a cyclist is a cause for concern, autonomous technology far outweighs the capabilities of humans in reducing errors.


Underwriting has already become effortless, given the ease in garnering data, thanks to facilities such as Usage-Based-Insurance. Auto insurance has become much more personalized. Moreover, insurance companies also seem to be providing discounts for users who use Usage-Based Insurance. Ultimately, premium rates will be cut with increasing autonomy.

The increase in vehicle autonomy raises the question of the need for auto insurance. When the scope for human errors is completely negated through technology, what would be the need/future of auto insurance? Automation and complete autonomy are designed to be more adept at foreseeing trouble when compared to human senses.