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Google Self-Driving Cars: Human Error & Resulting Accidents

With technology increasingly becoming more and more invested in the daily lives of our world, Google is seen as one of the pillars of innovation. Lately, there has been speculation about a recent advancement in motor vehicles as Google has come up with self-driving cars. The idea behind this modern marvel is to get people from one place to another without having them steer or drive. The design is made to prevent crashes from distracted drivers who are too concerned with their phones or other leisure activities while at the wheel. The vehicle will follow all the rules of the road and continually update its whereabouts and conditions through a sensor at the top of its structure. Sounds good right? Nevertheless, this exact function is why it’s also causing accidents.

Humans by nature are imperfect; adding in a machine that interacts with them in a perfect way is going to lead to clashes and in this case, crashes. Humans do not always follow the exact rules of the road. When a driver-less car is being strict on a road with another vehicle that is following the traffic speed or is not fully stopping at a stop sign, the robot will be in serious danger of causing an accident. People tailgate, speed, abruptly stop and roll stop signs, among many other things that are accepted by other people sharing the road. Drivers adapt to others as time goes on.

Google Car Crashes

One instance that was reported about a Google car getting into a car accident is when the self-driven car approached a crosswalk, it did what it was supposed to do by slowing down to allow the pedestrian to walk across. Continually, this prompted its “safety driver” to apply the brakes. The pedestrian was fine but the car was not because it was hit behind from a human-driven car. These robot cars are programmed to completely follow the law and it can be tough to wholly ward off accidents when humans do not behave by the book. These cars need to learn to be aggressive in the right amount and that right amount also depends on where the cars are actually driving.

Since 2009, Google cars have been in 16 crashes where humans were mostly to blame. The cars follow the rules so closely that any little mistake from a human-driven car puts them in danger. Humans interact with each other on the road through motions or eye contact which is on the fly or within a few seconds of a maneuver [1]. These proper cars cannot make the same adjustments.

However, a recent accident on February 14 proved to be the first where the car errored in the accident. The driverless car was a Lexus SUV when it hit the bus at around 2 miles per hour. The speed of the bus was 15 miles per hour at the time of the collision. Google stated, “Our vehicle was driving autonomously and had pulled toward the right-hand curb to prepare for a right turn. It then detected sandbags near a storm drain blocking its path, stop it needed to come to a stop. After waiting for some other vehicles to pass, our vehicle, still in autonomous mode, began angling back toward the center of the lane and made contact with the side of a passing bus. Our car detected the approaching bus, but predicted that it would yield to us because we were ahead of it.” [2]

Regardless of its flaws, the undergoing adaption of robot cars has a possibility of making a lot of positive changes on the road-if there were no other human-driven cars. Until every single person has one, there will always be a danger of an accident. The purpose to deflect distracted drivers amongst many other ailments is something that is prompting Google and many other companies to take on this innovation. In anticipation of this technology to be perfected, there will always be distracted and risky drivers causing accidents.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

Whether we’re talking about self-driven cars or human-driven cars, distracted driving by humans will lead to an accident. Have you been injured in an auto accident due to the negligence or risky behavior of another? Has a loved one suffered physical, mental, monetary, or emotional losses due to the lack of care displayed by another party? Whatever your situation is, you may be eligible for compensation. Don’t settle for what the greedy insurance companies are telling you. Speak with an experienced personal injury attorney from Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA today at (727) 451-6900.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765
(727) 451-6900



[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/06/every-single-time-a-google-self-driving-car-crashed-a-human-was-to-blame/395183/
[2] https://www.engadget.com/2016/02/29/google-self-driving-car-accident/