Humans Screw Up the Self-Driving Car Again

August 5, 2015

Google really, really wants its self-driving cars to be approved for consumer usage.  While the cars have been tested on actual roads, they have also been accompanied by car accidents.  The Inquirer posted the article, “Latest Self-Driving Car Crash Injures Three Google Employees” about how the public might not be ready for self-driving vehicles.  Google, not surprisingly, blames the crash on humans.

Google has been testing self-driving cars for over six years and there have been a total of fourteen accidents involving the vehicles.  The most recent accident is the first that resulted in injuries.  Three Google employees were using the self-driving vehicle during Mountain View, California rush hour traffic on July 1. When the accident occurred, each of the three employees were treated for whiplash.  Google says that its car was not at fault and a distracted driver was at caused the accident, which is also the reason for the other accidents.

While Google is upset, the accidents have not hindered their plans, they have motivated them to push forward.  Google explained that:

“ ‘The most recent collision, during the evening rush hour on 1 July, is a perfect example. The light was green, but traffic was backed up on the far side, so three cars, including ours, braked and came to a stop so as not to get stuck in the middle of the intersection.  After we’d stopped, a car slammed into the back of us at 17 mph? ?and it hadn’t braked at all.’ ”

Google continues to insist that human error and inattention are ample reason to allow self-driving cars on the road.  While it is hard to trust a machine with driving a weapon going 50 miles per hour, why do we trust people who have proven to be poor drivers with a license?

Whitney Grace, August 5, 2015

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