Google Car Endures Accidents, But Who’s Fault Was It?
We hear it pretty much every day now in the automotive industry and on the news; Google car this, Google car that. There have been many who question the safety of the Google self driving vehicle, and those who are intrigued with its inner workings. Google has been putting the little robots to the test to see if they will be able to perform as they are designed to operate, and to of course, perfect the little autonomous cars to be road ready.
Upon some of these outings to test the little cars, it has been reported that there have been some accidents. This leads us to ask, who is at fault and are autonomous vehicles really safe? There are 12 “incidents” on record with Google cars to date. To Google’s defense, it seems that their software and hardware are not at fault. Yep, you guessed it, it is those darn California drivers who are negligent… Who knew? (insert sarcasm here.)
Seven or eight of the reported incidents were caused by Californian drivers rear-ending the small self driving vehicles. Most of these happened at stop signs. Go figure… California stop anyone? *cough, cough* Other incidents were sideswipes and other bumps that occurred when Google employees were piloting the vehicles.
Google is reporting that they didn’t share these incidents with the public at first to spare the drivers that caused the accidents any humiliation. Google doesn’t aim to have “perfect” self driving vehicles, they want to build a vehicle that is better at driving than any human driver on the road today. They believe they can make the roads safer than they are today, and avoid tragic car accidents and deaths.
We know there will be bumps on the way to building an autonomous vehicle and it is just kind of a given that there will be accidents too. It is refreshing and encouraging to hear that Google’s self driving vehicles are not at fault at this point, especially since they have been met with some cynicism and critics have not always agreed that they would be road safe, or bicycle/passenger safe.