Wednesday 21 March 2018

Google's driverless car causes crash


Daniel Anderson

Google has been working on driverless car technology for a good while now and it seems the bugs aren't quite worked out

Google is a huge company with a massive staff working on a gigantic range of products. Some are super secret and others have been in the limelight for a long time including their persuit of driverless car technology.

The advantages of the tech are obvious, taking human drivers out of the equation removes the effects of alcohol, drugs and sleep deprivation which claim thousands of lives around the world each year, not to mention the benefits for the disabled and visually impaired. And the tests so far have been a huge success, so it was probably inevitable that a smash would happen eventually.

And so it has come to pass. On Valentine's Day 2016, a Google self-driving car took it upon itself to change lanes... right into the path of an oncoming bus. The accident report wasn't made public until yesterday, stating that the car moved over into a right hand lane to make a turn but then changed lanes again while trying to navigate around some sandbags which were in the way. A bus was in the middle lane and, long story short, the Google car ended up hitting the side of the larger vehicle.

In this case, Google has admitted that their vehicle bears some of the blame, which is the first time one of their self driving cars will have been at fault. No one was injured and the huge amount of recorded data will no doubt go towards fixing these kinds of issues in the future but it's pretty clear that this tech isn't quite ready for the random accidents of everyday driving.

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