Google’s self-driving cars seem to be more accident-prone, data suggests, after the company released a report on Monday afternoon. It revealed that the autonomous vehicle has been involved in 11 street incidents, so far.
Google, the well-known and widely-used Internet browser has caused quite a stir-up among car producers when they first announced in 2012 that they will be producing driverless cars.
The reasons behind the Cupertino-based company’s decision to approach this market niche remain yet unknown. Nevertheless, other car manufacturers might feel threatened by the numerous benefits that Google’s self-driving car technology vows to offer.
The driverless Toyota Prius has been subject to various on- and off-street tests in order to determine whether it can truly function or not. Reports have shown that the vehicle has been involved in 11 incidents since its first cruise on March 28, 2012.
Some analysts have stated that the percentage should cause Google to pay more attention to the flaws that the motor vehicle holds.
The search giant, on the other hand, has responded that the 11 incidents registered, so far, do not make them worry.
On the contrary, the number of accidents is rather small for the 4 year-period, particularly when this percentage is compared to the number of incidents reported by other car manufacturers.
Google has further added that the 11 incidents mainly occurred in the city and not on the highway. Consequently, no major injuries have been registered, either. Moreover, the driverless car was not at fault for the incidents, but rather a ‘victim’, of the other human-driven vehicles.
According to the web browser developer, the incident rate comes to strengthen the belief that driverless cars are safer than those requiring humans’ attention.
Google’s self-driving car has significantly reduced the percentage of accidents occurring when the driver is either texting, either performing other attention-distracting activities.
For those who may not be yet familiar with Google’s driverless car concept, it may be helpful to know that the Cupertino-based company is now developing a new technology that could soon turn all cars into fully-autonomous vehicles.
The automation has only been tested up until now on a Toyota Prius model, but other car manufacturers might use this technology in the future, as well.
The highly futuristic tech concept has several major flaws to deal with.
Google’s developers have stated that the wheel-free car was not yet tested on rain and snow conditions due to safety concerns.
The modified Toyota Prius, which is entirely based on pre-programmed route data, has also been low-graded due to its inability to correctly comply with traffic lights.
In addition, the driverless car tends to unnecessarily veer or slow down when faced with small street objects, such as, debris or trash, while potholes and police officers’ instructions have but rarely been observed.
Google plans to solve these issue by 2020, when the car technology is expected to be officially released.
Nevada, Florida, Michigan and Idaho are the first four U.S. states to pass laws for the free circulation of driverless cars.
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