Question: How many of Google’s self-driving cars caused an accident?
Answer: 1 – On 14 February one of the self-driving cars hit a bus. In all previous collisions, other road users were to blame
Google has been developing and working on the self-driving car project for 7 years now and the company has clocked up well over 1,000,000 miles across America.
Until now, Google have only reported small collisions and they claim that this was not at the fault of the self-driving car, but instead other road users and people actually driving the car.
The incident happened on the 14th of February in Mountain View, near Google’s headquarters, when the car, travelling at 2mph, pulled out in front of a bus which was going 15mph.
The human in the Google vehicle says that he did not override the car’s self-driving computer because he had assumed that the bus was going to slow down to let the car out.
The fact that it has taken 7 years before Google’s autonomous vehicle is to blame for a car crash is very impressive in my opinion. I personally don’t like the idea of self-driving cars, I don’t even like using my cruise control! That being said, I am quite impressed in the complexity of the cars computer algorithms.
Google have said that it has now refined its self-driving algorithm, saying that “From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future.”
The DMV (department of motor vehicles), was not so happy to hear about another Google car crash. They have filed a traffic incident and considers the Google car to be at fault for the collision. This could cause quite a setback for Google’s ambitious plans.
Unfortunately for Google, the crash came just 4 days after a legal breakthrough with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. They had told Google that it would likely give the self-driving computer the same legal treatment as a human driver. Maybe this will sway their decision.
What are your thoughts on having autonomous vehicles in the future? Do you think it’s a great idea or not? Obviously there are a lot of arguments for and against them, but we would love to hear what you think.