California Sees Self Driving Cars in Fender Benders
Lexus and Google are just two of the few companies that have joined forces to create self driving cars. Nearly fifty have been created, and four have already been involved in accidents since the tests started in September. Any accidents are to be reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The organization exclaimed there were four accidents, but would not comment on fault.
Two of those accidents occurred while the vehicle was in control. Three accident included a Lexus SUV’s that Google has supplied with sensors and computing power to create “autonomous driving.”
The selling point of these self driving cars is safety, yet these accidents were failed to be announced to the public. Google’s ultimate goal is to create a car without a steering wheel or pedals and take control of the car completely out of the “drivers” hands.
These accidents are not Google’s first, three other accidents occurred a few years ago when the cars were first put on the roads without state permission.
Google released a statement declaring that the cars drive near Google headquarters in Mountain View, and have hand only a few fender benders and no injuries caused by human error. Google also states that accidents are expected during the testing process, even thought the cars have over 15 years of human driving. According to the director of Google’s self-driving project, “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident.”
The California national state accident rate is 0.3 pr every 100,000, making Google 3 in 140,000 seem high. Google stated that approximately 5 million minor accidents are not reported each year.
Still in the prototype stages, Freightliner has announced its creation of self driving 18-wheelers. These trucks are designed to lower the accident rate due to human error and driver fatigue. Freighliners research says truck drivers feel more comfortable after switching the truck into autonomous mode. These rigs are expected to be less likely to make mistakes than a human driver.