Some people just won’t admit their mistakes. Some people won’t even admit that innovative contraptions make mistakes.
Or do they?
Google acknowledged in a recent web post that its self-driving cars have been in 11 minor traffic accidents since it started experimenting with them six years ago.
According to The Associated Press, though, Google released that figure only after the wire service reported that the tech giant had notified California authorities of three collisions involving its self-driving cars since last September.
But Google insisted that the cars did not “cause” any of the accidents.
Chris Urmson, director of the company’s driverless cars program, wrote in that post: “Even when our software and sensors can detect a sticky situation and take action earlier and faster than an alert human driver, sometimes we won’t be able to overcome the realities of speed and distance; sometimes we’ll get hit just waiting for a light to change. And that’s important context for communities with self-driving cars on their streets; although we wish we could avoid all accidents, some will be unavoidable.”
Still, as Time.com recently reported:
“Google’s cars have driven a total of 1.7 million miles (combining manual and self-driven mileage), giving them an accident rate of about 6.5 per million miles traveled. That’s considerably higher than the 2.8 property-damage-only accidents per million miles traveled that involved passenger cars nationally in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.”
In other words, accidents will happen — even with self-driving cars and every other kind of fancy gadget that some folks foolishly imagine is fool-proof.
So keep that in mind before letting the vehicle in which you ride drive itself.
And if you’re driving, keep your eyes on the road — not on texts to and from some other new-fangled gizmo.