Google Admits its Cars Occasionally Crash

You might look at the headline of the article and think that driverless cars are no good. In fact, the article states the exact opposite – the rate of crashes is low compared to the general populace, they were all low impact crashes, they were all caused by other drivers in other cars, and it has allowed Google to further improve their algorithms to attempt to deal with idiotic human drivers.

Just another plank in the bridge to total driverless cars – can’t come soon enough.

Google Admits its Cars Occasionally Crash

Google is busy developing self-driving cars for a number of reasons, one of which is their potential to reduce the number of accidents that occur on the roads each year. However, that doesn’t mean Google’s autonomous vehicles are immune from the odd crash here and there.

It turns out that Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in 11 accidents in the six years since the project began. Thankfully, these were all minor accidents with no injuries sustained by those involved. And considering that Google’s vehicles have covered 1.7 million miles in that time, these figures are actually rather refreshing.

Google maintains none of the accidents were the fault of the cars and their futuristic technology. Instead, all 11 accidents were caused by careless driving by people in other cars. And these incidents are now helping Google identify patterns of poor driving and adapt the software to better predict this flawed human behavior.

According to Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car program, there are 33,000 accidents on roads in the U.S. every year, and 94 percent of these are caused by human error. So, while Google still needs to get this figure of 11 down to zero, it appears the company’s autonomous vehicles are much safer than any driven by people rather than computers.

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