Google reveals a self-driving car prototype has been involved in an injury accident for the first time…
Sourced through Scoop.it from: www.driven.co.nz
There are two reasons why this story gets a mention. First because Google is so busy saying they don’t cause crashes, although technically they didn’t given the car was stationary. It may be correct in this case to say the car did cause injuries, but we don’t know what was going on inside.
Lots of people get the impression from the hype around autonomous cars that they are inherently safe. That has been part of my case all along that drivers of other vehicles can still do things that cause accidents that autonomous cars can’t avoid.
The second reason, which I found more concerning was the injury count. The combined speed of this accident was 17 mph, given that the Google car wasn’t moving. How good were it’s brakes if it couldn’t withstand that level of impact and went on to hit the car in front of it?
I also wonder about it’s design safety. Does it have a crumple-zone? Two cars were damaged, but the story implies that the Google car wasn’t. I would be very concerned about driving in a car where 3 people were cleared from hospital with minor whiplash from an accident that happened at 17mph! What if it had been 50mph or head on with a car going the other way at 50mph as well, for a combined force of 100mph?
Are manufacturers assuming that the design of autonomous or driverless cars doesn’t have to meet the same safety standards because the cars are more “intelligent?”