Google claim their driver less cars are safer than those with a human at the wheel
According to the man in charge of the Google autonomous car project, their self driving Lexus and Prius models are far safer than those actually driven by humans. Speaking at a Californian robotics conference, Chris Urmson said that the Google cars were both safer and smoother than cars driven by even professional drivers.
He said that the Google cars are spending much less time is states classed as near collision and the cars are driving much more safer and a lot smoother than those they are testing using professional drivers. He then presented the results from two separate studies which concentrated on the data taken from both the Google cars when they travelled on public road in Nevada and California. This showed that when the person behind the wheel let them drive themselves, the cars braked and accelerated a lot more sharply.
The software in the cars was also proven to be a lot better at deciding what was a safe distance between it and the vehicle in front than when the driver took the controls. In one of the tests, one of the Google cars was hit by another and the data from the car was then used to create a brilliant, annotated map of the immediate surroundings which in turn proved exactly what has happened. As Umson says, there is no longer a need to hope an accident was witnessed and that they will tell the truth, the data does it all.
Google have been regularly testing their cars since 2010 on public roads, always ensuring there is a human driver on board to take charge in the need arises. They are still tweaking the cabin designs and are planning a brand new dashboard for their driver less cars which will give the driver full information on what the car is doing when driving itself and help them to decide when, and if, to take control.