Self driving cars have been in the news lately, humans being replaced by computers or computer aided driving. Google are at the forefront of this new technology gold rush but things aren’t all they seem to be. Google’s self driving cars have been self driving themselves into crashes, 11 accidents over the last six years.
That’s coming direct from the horses mouth or as he likes to be known, Chris Urmson, Google’s program director for the self-driving project.
Interestingly Urmson says of more than 20 vehicles on the fleet not one has been the cause of an accident after 1.7 million miles of self-driving.
Most of the accidents occurred at very low speeds, mainly within city driving conditions and at traffic lights.
Urmson said “Even when our software and sensors can detect a sticky situation and take action earlier and faster than an alert human driver, sometimes we won’t be able to overcome the realities of speed and distance,”.
Google test their self driving vehicles in California and use Lexus RX450h crossovers, since September 2014 experimental self-driving cars have been involved in six crashes. Companies like Google who test on public roads require state permits.
Google and Delphi Automotive self driving cars were involved in these accidents although Google was quick to point out that the software systems were not at fault.
Googles fleet of self-driving cars always has a fully trained driver on board who will intervene at a moments notice if a situation requires manual control. These experimental cars cover 16,000 test miles every week.
Urmson said “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,”.