Quantcast
Membership Signup
Singularity University

Google’s Driverless Car Causes Accident – Due To Human Error


Don't blame the car, blame the human driver who is obviously trying to hide his face.

As if to spite me just days after I was gushing about Google’s driverless Toyota Prius, they go and rear-end someone and cause a five car accident. But as it turns out, it wasn’t the car’s fault at all: the crash was due to human error. And faster than you can dig your driver license out of the trash, Google’s putting the word out that the robot was not at fault. A spokesperson told Business Insider, “Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.”

The story broke when a Jalopnik reader sent in a photo of the accident which took place not far from Google’s Mountain View, California headquarters. The image of a woman on her cell phone, a police officer on the scene and the forlorn Google driver leaning on his car – the street view mount sticking out like a torn brake pad – is certainly not the kind of press that’s going to help Google fulfill their dreams of an accident-free robotic car paradise.

Of course, we’ll have to wait for the police report to confirm that it was the driver’s fault with his languid 500 millisecond reaction time. But it’s not hard to believe that one human rear-ended another, and as it stands this accident is a clear-cut example of why we need robotic cars. Hopefully this little bump in the road doesn’t slow Google down too much. It will most definitely speed up thinking about and perhaps setting guidelines for litigation involving driverless cars. Who’s at fault? A related question: will all insurance premiums be the same regardless of sex, age, prior nondriverless driving record?

For my money, I’m still behind the car with my hands off of the steering wheel. The fact that it was a human being’s fault means the robot’s still got 160,000+ miles of accident-free driving behind it. How many humans can make the same claim?

[image credit: Jalopnik]
image: Google accident

Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

3 comments

  • Neurosys says:

    Who was driving the google car? The Car? Or the Human?
    Cuz if the car was driving itself it shouldnt need help from the human right?
    and if the human was driving purely manual it has nothing to do with the car.

    But if the car was driving then it couldnt be the human’s fault at all, unless we are considering things like setup and configuration, but I dont have such details.

    Is my model of the situation accurate? There may be variables of which I am unaware.

    Funny scene: Officer pulls you over, your sitting alone in driver seat… “Ok, which one of you was driving?”

  • conrad777 says:

    How long was the human in charge of the car before the accident? I wonder if he took control when he saw that an accident was imminent.

  • JustMeDan says:

    For my money, I’m still behind the car with my hands off of the steering wheel. The fact that it was a human being’s fault means the robot’s still got 160,000+ miles of accident-free driving behind it. How many humans can make the same claim?

    Actually, quite a few can make that claim. Especially people that don’t drive with their cell phone glued to their head.

    I personally have driven over 700,000 miles without a single accident. But then again, I was taught to pay attention when I am driving and to drive defensively.

Singularity Hub Newsletter

Close