Google’s self driving cars have been cause to a lot of excitement, as well as fear. While the excitement part is pretty obvious, considering your car would virtually handle everything, the fears are far more voiced though as skeptics think tech could still falter with the minutest of circuit failure, resulting in injuries or road deaths which you can’t really blame upon anyone.
In the past six years since the project began, Google’s self driving cars, over a course of almost 2 million miles of testing, have faced 14 accidents. However, the tech giant says that none of these accidents have been caused because of the new technology, but rather because of other ‘distracted’ drivers.
Following an accident on Thursday, Chris Urmson, who leads the company’s driverless car project, says that the accidents have been caused because of careless humans.
Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road. That’s a big motivator for us,
he wrote in a blog post.
The most recent collision… is a perfect example.
The accident referred above was revealed by the company on Thursday in which three of its employees, who had been riding in one of its driverless Lexus cars, were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a car rear-ended it at traffic lights in Mountain View, California earlier this month.
The human driven car with which collision occurred, ear-ended the Google car, as it failed to brake at the traffic signal resulting in the collision. As per records, the collision speed was 17 miles per hour.
Other drivers have hit us 14 times since the start of our project in 2009 (including 11 rear-enders), and not once has the self-driving car been the cause of the collision.
According to Urmson, statistics were starting to show that Google’s cars were significantly safer than human drivers.
While Urmson’s argument may be logical, isn’t saving people riding within the car, from other, ‘distracted’ human drivers, one of the major purposes of Google’s driverless car ?
FEATURED IMAGE : NYTIMES