Since the rollout of new road test rules in the state of California last year, there have been nine crashes in the state involving self-driving cars and more traditional vehicles piloted by error-prone humans. Out of the nine accidents, all but one involved a Google driverless vehicle.
The data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles show that—such is the case for most humans involved in an auto accident—the vast majority of these incidents occurred close to home, at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View.
Driverless cars are known to be overly cautious—where your typical driver might go for that left turn onto the highway outside Farmington, Utah, driverless cars calculate the probability of collision and more often play it safe. Human drivers aren’t expecting this behavior, and so they are more likely to get into the kind of auto accident that would require a phone call to their lawyer.
Google is working to fix this problem, reportedly altering the cars’ technology to allow them to drive more “humanistically.” Hopefully those changes will stop short of creating aggressive, road-rage-prone cars the likes of those in Farmington traffic jams.
Though even if the possibility of human error is overcome, that won’t stop self-driving cars from crashing into each other, as was the case with a recent accident involving Google and Tesla driverless vehicles. How Google’s lawyer figured that one out remains a mystery.
* Image Credit: Pixabay