Google has been hard at work developing self-driving cars, which they hope will be available to consumers in the not too distant future. Technically speaking, Google is not building a car, but an automated driving system, which can be added to an already existing vehicle. In the future, it is likely the technology will be integrated into the car during the design process.
However, as this driverless car technology is still very much in the design phase, there are bound to be some problems. According to a recent feature fromTech Crunch, there have been 11 car accidents in the past six years involving Google’s driverless cars. In all of these accidents, Google has conducted detailed investigations, and it seems that in all 11 accidents, Google blames the human driver for the crash.
While this is good news in terms of the future of the driverless car technology, it demonstrates a difference between the way humans drive and how computers drive. When the two driving styles interact, it could result in a serious car accident. It has been suggested that computers are too careful and cautious, and human drivers like to take risks and cut corners. The computers expect other cars to drive equally as cautious and avoid risks, and this might actually result in more accidents.
Google has apparently released information that their robotic cars might need to be reprogrammed to be a little more aggressive, or more “humanistic” as they are calling it. It is very interesting that getting a car to drive itself, which is a major achievement from a technological standpoint, may only be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what it takes to get a car safe enough to sell to consumers. It is highly likely that there will be early adopters of this very expensive technology, and it will take years if not decades before all cars are driving themselves. Making these cars drive safely on roads where the majority of cars are not driverless may prove even more difficult than the long road it has taken to get to where we are now in terms of working prototypes on the streets.
There is very little doubt that, one day, there will be many driverless cars on the roads across the United States. While many science fiction books and movies portrayed the future as being filled with flying cars, this is a much less likely scenario. It has nothing to do with the limits of the technology, but rather that flying cars would be a disaster waiting to happen in terms of public safety, so it is not even being pursued beyond what are essentially planes that are street legal to drive when converted. If it takes a licensed pilot to fly, it is not a car.
One topic that will also be interesting to Greensboro auto accident lawyers is how liability will be assigned when these cars have an accident. Regardless of how advanced and how safe the technology eventually is, there will probably still be many car accidents involving driverless cars.
Contact the Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
Driverless Car Accident Reports Make Unhappy Reading For Humans, October 4, 2015, Tech Crunch, by Natasha Lomas
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