What for some may be a pleasing experience, for most people commuting on a daily basis from home to work and back home, stuck in traffic and stressed or tired from work, driving is a necessary evil. Several science fiction TV shows and movies, or even regular ones set in the future depict the experience of riding a car while it drives by itself, with the passenger simply being transported while giving voice commands, checking e-mails, watching movies or just relaxing – imagine what a breeze traffic would be. To cheer you up, this reality is not that far now, as big tech companies are investing hard to build and deploy self-driving cars to the masses, and one of the main forces behind it is Google with their driverless car project which has been going on for a few years now. Each month the company releases a report for the project, highlighting incidents, and accidents that the robot cars have been involved with. November report was “boring”, as quoted by 9to5Google, but we had one minor incident that we will jump next.
According to the report, the driverless car was fiddling around when another vehicle approached from behind, came to a stop but then kept moving forward until it hit the rear bumper of the funny and cute Google car. “The approximate speed of the other vehicle at the time of impact was 4 MPH. The speed of the Google AV at the time of impact was below 1 MPH,” says the text. As you can see, this incident wasn’t Google’s fault, as the driver behind who was responsible for the crash. This new incident is the first in two months, when Google cars reached 1000,000 miles without a single occurrence. As of today, the total number of accidents these cars have been involved with grew to 17, which is really low when you consider that the project has logged a total of 1,320,755 miles driven in autonomous mode, and 955,771 on manual mode since 2009. These numbers alone are a big indication that the biggest cause of car accidents is human error.
Earlier in November, one driverless car was involved on a quite funny happening, when a police officer pulled over the car because it was driving too slow. According to California police, the car was going at 24 mph (39 km/h) on an area where the speed limit is 34 mph (56 km/h), clogging the traffic on a busy local street. Having been on the road since 2009, Google’s autonomous cars can be seen on the streets of Mountain View, CA, and Austin, TX, with more cities to come in the next months. If you are interested, just head to the source link below to read the full report from Google.