Study: In NY, Autonomous Vehicles Could Have Saved 500 Lives Over the Last 5 Years

Research on traffic fatalities in NY highlights AVs’ power to save lives

May 14, 2024

On Tuesday, Chamber of Progress published a new report examining traffic fatalities in New York and the power of autonomous vehicles (AVs) to reduce roadway deaths. 

As traffic fatalities rise year after year across the state, the report – authored by Kaitlyn Harger, Senior Economist for Chamber of Progress – looks at how many lives AVs would have saved had New York allowed for their full deployment over the last five years. Examining the 2018 to 2022 period, the report finds that AV deployment could have prevented 500 roadway fatalities, 83,000 injuries, and 84,000 crashes.

Read the full report on AV safety in New York.

“It’s no secret why AVs are safer than human drivers: they don’t drive drunk, they don’t speed, and they don’t drive distracted,” said Chamber of Progress CEO Adam Kovacevich. “AVs have driven millions of miles, and we now have a very good sense for how AVs stack up against human drivers: they’re demonstrably safer. If New York lawmakers are interested in stopping rising traffic fatalities, then allowing AV deployment means more lives saved.”

The report examines three economic scenarios for AV deployment, including a conservative deployment scenario, a moderate scenario, and an optimistic scenario. Even in a conservative deployment scenario, with AVs making up just 1.3% of total cars on the road, driverless cars would have saved over 50 lives and prevented over 8,000 injuries over the same period.


Chamber of Progress ( is a center-left tech industry policy coalition promoting technology’s progressive future.  We work to ensure that all Americans benefit from technological leaps, and that the tech industry operates responsibly and fairly.  

Our corporate partners do not have a vote on or veto over our positions. We do not speak for individual partner companies and remain true to our stated principles even when our partners disagree.