If you’ve been following our blog over the last year then you know we’ve talked before about Google’s self-driving car. What was once just a prototype being driven on a test track nearly a year ago has now been released on actual roads here in California and most recently near Austin, Texas. But just as it did when it was first created, the vehicle is still raising a number of questions, including the one we’re asking in today’s post title:
Will Google’s self-driving cars put an end to car accidents?
After reading a recent article for Computer World, the answer might seem like a resounding yes. That’s because, even though Google’s self-driving car has been involved in at least 14 minor accidents to date, the search engine giant boasts that every accident was the direct result of drivers in other vehicles or humans within the self-driving car itself. In no case was the self-driving car to blame.
This track record may seem impressive and by all means may suggest an end to car accidents altogether once self-driving cars become the norm on U.S. roadways. But if you’ve ever had your computer crash or another piece of technology fail, you know that technology is hardly perfect. Just as tech devices now are prone to failure, so too could the self-driving car. If and when a failure occurs, a vehicle accident might not be far behind, causing serious or even fatal injuries to passengers in all vehicles involved.
Self-driving vehicles are still a few years away from mass production and becoming a common sight on our roadways. The hope among many is that the engineers will take this time to consider the possibility of an accident causing technology failure. By addressing it now and correcting the problem, auto manufacturers can reduce their likelihood of liability. Failing to do so, as you may know, could be considered negligence and grounds for personal injury claims.