This Google Self-Driving Car Accident Is the First

March 9, 2016

Car accidents happen every day, but on the 14th of February, 2016, car accidents may have reached a new milestone. The first Google self-driving car accident in which the autonomous car may have been at fault has occurred, and social media is all over it.

According to the accident report, the Google car was doing its self-driving thing when it came across an obstacle. Sand bags placed around a storm drain confused the autonomous car, which tried to avoid the road hazard by going around. When the driverless car edged into the next lane to go around the sand bags, it struck the side of a passing bus.

The car, which was in autonomous mode, had only been travelling at 2 mph at the time of the crash. The bus was going 15 mph when it passed, and sustained little more than a scratch in the paint. The Google car’s front wheel and fender took some damage, but thankfully, nobody was injured in the car accident.

While there have been other reports of Google cars being involved in car accidents before, this one stands out because it is the first accident for which Google has officially claimed at least “some responsibility.” There have been 17 reports of crashes involving Google’s self-driving cars before this, all of which have officially been attributed to human error.

This historic event will no doubt be used as a learning experience for Google and the developers behind the future of travel. However, those opposed to the car for whatever reason will surely have more ammunition in their fight against driverless cars as well.

Are Driverless Cars Dangerous?

Google has been testing its self-driving cars for years now, since 2009 actually. In those seven years, Google cars have travelled over 1.3 million miles. This is the first car accident in which the Google car has been partially responsible. Those are some pretty safe odds.

However! Just because the Google car seems to be safer than any human driver, that does not mean that it is perfect or that it won’t cause serious bodily harm to someone down the road. Google has predicted that its driverless cars will be completely ready by 2020 and that consumers across the nation will be riding around town in one. Eventually, someone will be hurt, and Google may be held liable for those damages.

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