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Google's self-driving cars accident prone?

Autonomous cars, or driver less death machines as they also might be called. Well, at least if you kept up to date on the latest news about Google's self-driving cars being involved in 11 accidents over the last six years.
“If you spend enough time on the road, accidents will happen whether you’re in a car or a self-driving car,” Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car program, wrote in a post on Backchannel's blog Medium.

Since Google started the project some six years ago, there has been 11 accidents (light damage with no injuries). During those six years some 1.7 million miles – that's a hell of a lot of kilometres – of autonomous and manual driving (with Google's safety drivers behind the wheel) have been accomplished. And Chris Urmson claims in the post that not one of those 11 accidents was caused by the self-driving car.

“Rear-end crashes are the most frequent accidents in America, and often there’s little the driver in front can do to avoid getting hit; we’ve been hit from behind seven times, mainly at traffic lights but also on the freeway,” he explains in the post.

So, the autonomous car might not be worthy of the doomsday title of “death machine” but rather that of a teacher, teaching us about our own behaviour behind the wheel.

Like he wrote in the beginning of the post:
“After 1.7 million miles we’ve learned a lot — not just about our system but how humans drive, too.”

For more information how the car actually functions, have a look at this short video.


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