Self-driving cars 'could reduce organ donations'

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Autonomous cars are no longer science fiction – it's now a matter of when, not if, they'll take over our roads.

Outside of car enthusiasts, this is mostly seen as a good thing. These inter-connected vehicles will drastically reduce the number of crashes on the road, saving countless lives.

However, according to a report in Slate, this could have a detrimental effect on the lives of people waiting on organ transplants – about 20 per cent of organ donations come from car crash victims.

Approximately 35,000 people die each year on American roads, with 94 per cent of those crashes caused by driver error. Analysts believe that the introduction of self-driving cars could see the number of deaths halved, meaning a possible corresponding drop in organs becoming available.

Legislators could get around the potential deficit in organ donations by automatically enrolling motorists as donors, using an 'opt out' scheme. In Israel, there has been a rise in organ donations following a rule that allows people to be moved up the waiting list in exchange for relatives agreeing to donate their organs.