Self Driving Cars Weren’t At Fault In Small Number Of Crashes
May 13, 2015
Self driving cars have recorded very few crashes and, for the most part, weren’t at fault in those they did experience according to research done by the Associated Press.
While self driving cars, have been on the road for several years, the manufacturers weren’t required to publicly report crashes involving their cars until a new California law went into effect in September of 2014. That law made public reporting of crashes involving self driving cars a part of the licensing agreement to test the cars on state roads.
Google has been driving their self driving cars on California roads for six years. At all times, there are engineers behind the wheel ready to take over in case something goes wrong. According to Google, the cars have have driven more than 1.7 million miles with one million of those miles completely automatic.
According to Google, their 23 cars have been involved in eleven minor crashes with only minor damage and no injuries. Google claims that none of the cars on automatic mode were at fault in the crashes.
In April, in the first trip of its kind, Delphi Automotive sent a self driving car across the country from California to New York with 99 percent of the driving done by the car’s automatic controls. There were no reported incidents. Delphi did report one crash previous to the cross-country trip in which the driver of the other vehicle was at fault.
The promise of self driving cars is that they will make driving safer because, unlike human drivers, they follow traffic rules, obey the speed limit, and watch for hazards on the road. Even in an “unavoidable” crash, say with a red light runner, the self driving car can react quicker and apply the brakes or perform an evasive maneuver that will lessen the impact of the crash.
As of now, four states (California,Nevada, Michigan and Florida) plus the District of Columbia have passed laws authorizing testing of self driving cars on their roads. None of the other states outside of California have reported any crashes.