Humans at fault in self-driving car accidents
It seems that there is still a risk of human error when it comes to the potential release of self-driving vehicles – just not from the pilots of the developing pilot programs.
Since September, the state of California has issued permits to various automotive companies which allows almost 50 self-driving cars to be road-tested. Four have been involved with accidents due to human error caused by other drivers being inattentive, according to a news report by the Los Angeles Times.
One of the accidents entailed a smart car waiting to make a left turn at a stoplight before it was hit by another vehicle that crossed a median and struck the smart car in October. Regardless, representatives of these self-driving car producers is aiming to create vehicles that improve safety on the road but the accidents, even though they are reportedly not caused by the self-driving machines themselves, is not good PR at the moment.
The project was first started by Google about six years ago, the company reports that there have been 11 minor incidents through a combination of nearly two millions driving done by the car itself and the driver – none of them are reportedly caused by the self-driving vehicles.
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The hope is that these numbers remain low if these self-driving vehicles are allowed to gain a full release to the public. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were more than 32,000 fatalities due to accidents over the course of three million total miles in the United States – which makes the accident numbers mentioned earlier seem much more likeable.
The Department of Motor Vehicles is making a push for the release of current and future records that relate to any and all accidents involving the self-driving vehicles. Maybe the project is leading to a possible solution to reducing traffic fatalities to a net zero goal that is the goal of several states, but the real concern regarding traffic deaths seems to go back to drivers not paying complete attention to the traffic patterns and roads ahead of them.