Google has been test driving their driverless cars all across the U.S. since 2009 and have been having fairly good results. However it would seem they are having a slight problem with getting into a few minor accidents here and there. The funny thing is the driverless vehicles aren’t at fault.
There have been 14 minor accidents recorded since 2009 with 11 of them seeing Google’s car getting rear-ended. A recent accident on July 1st was caused by a human-driven vehicle at a total of 17 miles per hour. Using the many sensors and data collection tools on the driverless car it was determined the person didn’t press on his breaks at all. This was also the first accident reported involving a Google car that involved reports of injuries with four people claiming minor whiplash. Of course at 17 miles an hour the whiplash may have occurred when the passengers of said vehicle remembered how deep Google’s pockets are.
Google’s Chris Urmson doesn’t see these accidents as a bad thing but more of a positive claim. Seeing as the cause was human error Urmson sees this just proving the point of the driverless car.
“Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road,” Urmson said. “Although we don’t like getting hit, there’s a silver lining here. We all want to know how self-driving cars are measuring up against their human counterparts, but the statistics we need to do this simply aren’t ordinarily gathered. Other drivers have hit us 14 times since the start of our project in 2009…and not once has the self-driving car been the cause of the collision.
“Instead, the clear theme is human error and inattention. We’ll take all this as a signal that we’re starting to compare favorably with human drivers.”
If this proves anything it shows how little people pay attention when driving sometimes. However seeing a car in front of you moving along without a driver may distract even the most careful driver.