Google Self-Driving Cars Log 300,000 Accident-Free Miles*
August 13, 2012 8:41 AM
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*While under computer control at least
Ever since Google launched its
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
that will steer a vehicle and operate the brakes and throttle in traffic.
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RE: I hope they make it
8/13/2012 2:51:52 PM
I am of the anti-autocar persuasion for the same reason i am against "Black Boxes" in cars, soft drink bans, gun control etc.. they are all an attempt to circumvent and provide faux solutions to the simple problem of the lack of personal responsibility by individuals. I don't want a car to drive for me because it would absolve me of said personal responsibility. i would rather drive myself and assume all risks/responsibilities. Next goggle is going to come out with an automatic ass wiping machine i be you can guess what side of the fence i will be on with that one.
RE: I hope they make it
8/13/2012 4:23:21 PM
Considering most of the other points you bring up seem to be in relation to "pro-choice," then assumedly you are not against the development of automated cars? Fair enough if you don't want to use one - but I assume you are not against other peoples' rights to buy and use them.
RE: I hope they make it
8/13/2012 10:06:56 PM
develope all you want until it becomes a government mandate.
"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home
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