Is it Time to Make Room for Google Cars?


Believe it or not, 2016 may be THE year of innovation with ego. Specifically, it may be the year that is known as the one that curbed the ego of artificial intelligence. In recent years, Google has been in the works perfecting its driverless cars. On one hand, driverless cars provide convenience and comfort we don’t currently have when we drive; on the other hand, there are still a number of questions and uncertainties which need to be addressed. Of course, the cars are meant to carry passengers, but those passengers won't have to do anything but ride along. Except, Google car operators may need to remind the car that it isn't always going to get its way. Especially in situations like this, where the Google car ends up causing a minor accident involving a bus.

No Right of Way

On one sunny day early in 2016, a self-guided Google car was trying to make a right turn on El Camino Real in the city of Mountain View, California. As it went to make the turn, it came upon sandbags on the side of the road. Because of this, it had to swerve out of its lane a bit to make the turn. The only problem is, there happened to be a bus in the lane the car swerved into.

The accident can’t be attributed entirely to the Google car. Like regular cars that require us to drive ourselves, there will be mistakes. The car was in autonomous mode, but it did have a human driver as well. Apparently, the human driver and the brain of the car were in accord because the human didn't do anything to alter the situation. Both minds assumed that the bus would let the car out to make the turn. As a result, the bus received a bit of a modification to its paint job. It seems that even with driverless cars, you may find yourself needing the assistance of a car accident lawyer in San Francisco.

Google Car Adjustments and Safety

One might think that after this, Google would make adjustments that would allow the car to simply assume that cars in their own lanes might not let a Google car veer into those lanes to get where they were going. Instead, Google plans to adjust the car so it understands that larger vehicles, like a bus, might not move out of the way to let it pass. This adjustment may help avoid similar types of car accidents in the future.

This surely is a sign of innovation in engineering, but it might also be a sign that self-guided cars have a way to go before becoming the convenient and safe alternatives we need to comfortably hand over our keys. The question becomes whether driverless cars can decrease the number of car accidents or will end up making driving more complicated.

What do you think about Google’s driverless cars? Let us know in the comments.

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