Self-Driving Car Accidents
Cars of the future- this is just one of the terms that have been used to describe the new self-driving cars even though they have been around for quite sometime now. These autonomous cars are designed to drive on the road without any input from a human driver and their strongest selling point is that they are less likely to get involved in accidents by eliminating human error. However, none of the self-driving cars on the road are fully autonomous and they still have manual control features that can be turned on or off since the cars are still in their trial phases. That said, the idea is still to eventually develop 100% autonomous cars that completely do not have any manual control features.
Tesla and Google are the two biggest names in the world of self-driving cars at present, with Tesla being the elder in terms of operational years. It is also further ahead of Google in terms of technology used in the vehicles. Both Tesla and Google self driving cars are equipped with special cameras and radar technology which keep them aware of their surroundings and help them detect any obstacles that might be in their paths and actively avoid car accidents. They are also equipped with LIDAR- a special technology that makes use of lasers to calculate the distances between the cars and anything else in their path. All these are controlled by a CPU installed in the cars with special programs that analyze the data they collect and then decide on the best course of action the vehicle should take.
Given the fact that self-driving cars rely on computers rather than humans to make decisions while driving on roads, one would expect that they would be completely accident free, just as their manufacturers have touted them. But a close examination of the records shows that they too can and have been involved in a car accident.
Google’s self-driving car accidents
Google has been working on autonomous cars for six years now and, at present, they have 24 such cars being test driven in different parts of the country. The cars are all Lexus RX450h SUVs at the moment but Google has announced plans to roll out 100 Chrysler minivans to add to that number.
There have been very few accidents reported throughout the states which involved Google’s self driving cars in any way. According to Google’s own reports, only 14 such accidents have been reported since the cars were first introduced. Out of the fourteen accidents, 13 were caused by mistakes made by other drivers/ road users and only one can be tied to a problem with the autonomous cars. This one accident occurred in Mountain View, California when the autonomous SUV came into contact with another vehicle while shifting lanes to avoid sandbags that lay across its path. The accident resulted in a minor fender bender.
The first, and only, injuries in a Google self driving car while in autonomous mode occurred in Mountain View, CA when one of their cars carrying 3 of its employees was rear-ended while stationary. The three employees were treated for whiplash and discharged.
Tesla’s self-driving car accidents
Considering the fact that they have better technology you would expect the self-driving Model S electric sedans from Tesla to be much safer than those from Google. But, unfortunately, they are the only ones that have been responsible for the first human fatalities in autonomous cars.
The first fatality involving one of Tesla’s self driving cars while in autonomous mode occurred in Williston, Florida and resulted in the death of 40 year old Joshua Brown. The accident took place as Joshua’s car was taking a left turn and drove right into a tractor-trailer. However, the statement released by Tesla after the incident which took place on May 7th did not state whether the vehicle or the driver was to blame.
Reports of a second fatality involving one of Tesla’s self driving cars have also been received from China where 20 year old Gao Yaning drove directly into a road sweeper while in autonomous mode in Handan, approximately 300 miles from Beijing. This is according to a news report which was published this month on the New York Times.
Contacting A Miami Car Accident Lawyer
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