All previous incidents involving a Google AV have been put down to human error – until now. Self-driving in California, a Google Lexus AV avoided some sandbags in the road at a red light. When the light turned green and the Google car attempted to get back into the flow of traffic, it was aware of the bus approaching in the left side mirror, but believed it would give way. It then made contact with the bus at less than 2mph, with the bus travelling at 15mph, according to Google’s driver report.
The Google car should have waited for there to be enough space for it to join the road safely, just as a human would. Granted, this incident was the first in which the AV was solely responsible out of the 1.5 million miles covered on US roads, but I still don’t think we’re ready for AVs. Humans have the ability to apply logic and react to changing situations. At the moment, autonomous vehicles don’t.
I’m not dismissing autonomous technology completely. Cruise control, for example, is brilliant and is fast becoming standard equipment. My issue is with fully autonomous technology. We’ve all had a complaint about technology at some point. Are we really ready to trust it completely with, not only our own lives but, the lives of our children?