It’s obvious that self-driving cars are at the forefront of technology, but a recent test by industry giants Google resulted in a rather bizarre crash.
Quite simply, the driverless car went straight into a public bus, despite the fact it was only travelling at 2mph and the bus was going at a steady 15mph.
Everyone that reads this site knows that I am a big fan of driverless technology and I really believe it is the future of the motor industry.
What I don’t understand is how on earth they managed to crash this car when it was only going 2mph. It seems that these kind of cars might be further away from being ready to be sold to the mass market then I initially thought.
At the end of the day, it’s not ideal to have a bunch of cars driving around with no-one at the wheel, all crashing into each other and making bus drivers more fearful than ever.
Crashing at 2mph is bad enough, but what happens when these cars get up to 30mph, 50mph and even 70mph. I think a lot of testing still needs to be done.
Interestingly, after the incident took place Google only admitted “some responsibility.” No doubt they were hoping that the bus companies insurance would handle any repairs.
However, it seems that common sense has won the day and all parties involved agreed that Google was at fault and it should be them and their car insurance company that picked up the bill.
In a funny statement, a Google spokesperson said, “from now on our cars will understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles.” Well, I suppose it’s good they have worked this out now rather than when there are thousands of Google self-driving cars on the road.
What next? They come to the conclusion that people won’t always get out of the way if a self-driving car decides to take a shortcut up the pavement? I think Google are onto something here.
During a recent interview one of the project managers commented that Google cars will be ready for the public by 2020.
I’m really not so sure. That is only 4 years away and if they are crashing into buses at 2mph then I think it could be just a bit optimistic. In my own personal opinion I would say more like 2025 or 2030 would be a more realistic time frame, although the engineers and designers over at Google could surprise us.
Of course they are not the only company in the race, with giants such as Tesla also looking to bring us self-driving cars as quickly as possible. Maybe they will be the first to market? Let’s all sit back and watch how this unfolds.