Print 47 comment(s) - last by HrilL.. on Aug 14 at 1:25 PM

*While under computer control at least

Ever since Google launched its self-driving project back in 2010, the company has been working out the kinks with self-driving cars. The ultimate goal is to create technology that allows vehicles to drive passengers to any location without driver input. Google is testing fleet of these vehicles in Nevada and California, and has recently announced that its self-driving vehicles have accrued over 300,000 miles.
During those 300,000 miles, not one of the vehicles has been in an accident, at least not when under computer control (one Google self-driving automobile was involved in an accident while under human control).
When the project was initially launched two years ago, Google noted that 1.2 million lives were lost each year in traffic accidents and the search giant hoped to develop technologies to help reduce the number of traffic fatalities. The national average accident rate in 2009 within the United States worked out to about .366 per 100,000 vehicle miles driven.
Google has given its cars an edge on the accident front by operating them in environments that are easy to tackle. For instance, Google's automated fleet drives on mostly dry roads in moderate conditions. Google does want to begin testing its vehicles in harsher conditions, such as snow in the future.

Analyst Brian Walker Smith from Stanford Law School says that it is still much too early to say unequivocally that automated vehicles are safer than human driven vehicles. "Google's cars would need to drive themselves (by themselves) more than 725,000 representative miles without incident for us to say with 99 percent confidence that they crash less frequently than conventional cars,” Smith concluded. “If we look only at fatal crashes, this minimum skyrockets to 300 million miles."
Automated vehicle technology still has a long way to go to win approval with drivers and state and local authorities. So far, Utah is one of the few states to allow automated vehicles to drive on public roads.
While fully automated vehicles may be a long way away, many automakers are starting to integrate technologies that will automatically stop a vehicle when an impending accident is sensed. Cadillac has also unveiled technology that will steer a vehicle and operate the brakes and throttle in traffic.

Source: The Atlantic

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RE: I hope they make it
By blue_urban_sky on 8/13/2012 1:36:53 PM , Rating: 3
With NOBODY in the car to "go manual" in case something breaks with the system or the car? Dude that's nuts! Would you trust that?

I'd trust a computer. At the end of the day accidents are physics at work, A computer can compute the trajectory of everything around it. It can also run probability analysis to take other humans into account. and as for system malfunction, you would hope that there would be redundant systems on the redundant systems.

What if someone wrecks your car? Oh let me guess, the car will automatically text you that it was in a wreck right?

I'd hope so, as well as informing the emergency services.

If your car runs over someone and kills them while it was driving itself, who do we blame? Who gets sued?

the person hit I would have guessed. Driving is based on relatively simple rules that a computer would always stick to. Add to that cameras and a black box recording everything.

This is fundamentally different. Nice try attempting to paint anyone with objections to this as some kind of Luddite.

I don't think he was inferring that, you were aggressive and sounded like it could never happen, which is clearly false as its all a question of time scale.

It's 2012 and computer AI frankly still sucks. It's going to take amazing AI for something like this to actually work in real life conditions for prolonged periods of time.

They can beat a human at chess tho...

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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