Google says accidents by its self-driving cars were by human error
Google said the 11 accidents caused by its self-driving cars in the past six years were caused by human error, not by autonomous technology. Googleês recent report of the minor accidents was widely publicized.
Even when our software and sensors can detect a sticky situation and take action earlier and faster than an alert human driver, sometimes we wonêt be able to overcome the realities of speed and distance; sometimes weêll get hit just waiting for a light to change, wrote Chris Urmson, director of Googleês self-driving car program, in a blog post. Although we wish we could avoid all accidents, some will be unavoidable.
None of the accidents involved any injuries. Googleês cars were hit from behind seven times, mainly at traffic lights. They were also sideswiped twice and hit by a car rolling through a stop sign.
Google drivers saw many other drivers taking foolish risks, including distracted drivers who were reading books and even one playing a trumpet, Urmson wrote.
Still, Jake Fisher, director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports, told cnn.com that perhaps some of the accidents could have been avoided if humans were in control. They can read body language and anticipate reckless driving behavior, such as turning left from the right lane across other cars.Download Bulletin PDF