An accident involving a distracted driver has just been associated with a Google car.
If the news concerning the auto accidents involving autonomous cars wasn’t enough to stir the debate on whether the self-driving technology is actually safe, this new report may do the trick.
According to a series of news reports, Google has claimed that one of its self-driving vehicles was involved in its first injury accident. But, like all other incidents involving the Google cars, the other driver was to blame.
The driver following a Google car in Mountain View failed to hit the brakes at an intersection and, as a result, crashed into the back of the autonomous vehicle. Occupants of the Google car complained of minor whiplash after the incident. They were taken to the hospital but released not too long after.
No serious injuries were reported.
The vehicle following Google was traveling at 17 mph at the time of the accident.
Google is one of the leaders of the self-driving tech movement. It has pioneered the system and it’s now in its sixth year of testing. During this period, the Google cars were hit 14 times.
Ironically, Google claims the original idea for the autonomous car technology stemmed from the need to remove human error from the driving equation. Since most accidents occur because of human error, allowing this type of technology to take over would make it impossible for drivers to cause accidents because they are too distracted, tired, or simply oblivious of their surroundings.
If Google—and several other companies also working on this technology—are successful, the self-driving technology could put an end to distracted driving accidents in the future.
But many safety experts are still somewhat skeptical about the technology.
While experts are not entirely skeptic when it comes to the technology itself, many believe companies like Google may have a hard time trying to persuade regulators to allow the features to be offered to the public. With Tesla claiming the autonomous car technology will make driving obsolete in the future, many are excited about the prospects, but National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s regulators are approaching the subject with caution.
Most of us will have to wait until Google and other companies putting more test cars on the roads are confident their system is ready to be used widely to make up their mind. Until the fully autonomous technology is available, many companies have already begun adding semi-autonomous features to its newest vehicles.
If you’re curious to know more about the accident, follow this link.