It seems that one of Google’s self-driving cars which is being tested on the roads was hit from behind in a rear-end crash last week. This is the 12th accident in which Google’s prototypes were involved in the last six years. Sergey Brin, Google co-founder, said that none of the accidents were caused by their cars. Brin added that they do not claim that the cars are perfect, but that they are better than human drivers.
The company is planning to test the last version of their autonomous car in Mountain View this summer. The vehicles will initially function at a speed of 25 miles per hour. Google is trying to deal with multiple issues regarding the safety and the performance of the self-driving prototypes. It has invested in researchers which involve studying long-term opportunities for cutting-edge technologies. The company’s upcoming vehicles will be provided with maps, sensors and other tools designed to shed the driver’s involvement.
Consumer Watchdog which has rebuked Google for years demanded the company to release the accident reports of the self-driving cars which were filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles or other agencies in order to inform the public about the risks which the vehicles involve.
Three weeks ago the company posted a summary of the incidents and Brin said that the accident records do not contain different information than what was already made available. So he believed that there is no reason to release the accident reports. Brin answered to the privacy project director of Consumer Watchdog by saying the following:
“I suppose we could give more detail and we are open to that, but you are not going to learn anymore.”
According to the report posted by Chris Urmson, the self-driving program’s director, the majority of the accidents took place when the vehicles were struck in the rear, either at traffic lights or on the freeways. Google’s self-driving cars were rear-ended eight times and this was also the case in the last accident, in which the prototype was side-swiped twice and then hit by another car which was rolling through a stop sign.
Larry Page, Google CEO, hopes that their project will make the world a better place and people should be excited about Google’s contribution to the world. Some distant plans which Google has for their self-driving cars include internet-beaming balloons which can be used in remote areas where there no access to internet and contact lens which have the ability to monitor the levels of glucose in persons who suffer from diabetes.
Image Source: Fox 13