(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News) Is it safe to take self-driving cars on the road?
Google driverless car units will reportedly hit public roads in California this summer, according to Washington Post. However, speculations purportedly arise over the functionality of vehicles relying solely on technology. How safe is it to take self-driving cars on the road?
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According to The Wall Street Journal, Google admitted that its self-driving cars had been involved in 11 “minor” accidents in the past six years. Chris Urmson, head of Google’s self-driving car program, reportedly claimed that no injuries were reported from the accidents that purportedly only caused minor damages.
“If you spend enough time on the road, accidents will happen whether you’re in a car or a self-driving car. Over the 6 years since we started the project, we’ve been involved in 11 minor accidents (light damage, no injuries) during those 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving with our safety drivers behind the wheel, and not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident” Urmson wrote in his blog post about the Google driverless car.
Urmson says they are deploying a fleet of 20+ Google driverless car units and a team of safety drivers to learn more about its efficiency on the road.
“We’ll continue to drive thousands of miles so we can all better understand the all too common incidents that cause many of us to dislike day to day driving – and we’ll continue to work hard on developing a self-driving car that can shoulder this burden for us,” Urmson added in his blog post.
Amid research and road-testing for Google driverless car, Bryant Walker Smith, an expert on the legal aspects of autonomous vehicles at the School of Engineering at the University of South Carolina, reportedly said accident reports should have studied and taken into consideration even before any tragic crash.
“The challenge here is twofold: Don’t let the news of these minor crashes make the public too fearful or too confident. Information helps appropriately manage public expectations,” Walker Smith reportedly said, as quoted by The Wall Street Journal.
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