Google’s self-driving vehicle program head Chris Urmson, wrote in a blog post on Thursday.
Google has admitted its self-driving cars are being hit “surprisingly often” after a crash involving one of its fleet resulted in minor injuries to those involved. The Associated Press reported there were also two passengers in the Google vehicle, and all three were checked out at a hospital and cleared to go back to work following the July 1 collision. Instead Google has attributed these accidents to drivers who might not be paying attention on the road while driving and might have been distracted, like texting while driving, or maybe even trying to snap a photo of the self-driving auto while driving.
Google says, there have been 14 accidents in six years so far, none of them being caused by their auto. “After we’d stopped, a auto slammed into the back of us at 17 mph - and it hadn’t braked at all”.
Urmson said the statistics were starting to show that Google’s cars were significantly safer than human drivers.
The incident comes after security vendor Kaspersky Lab warned over the security implications of driverless cars, claiming it would now take “just seconds” to destroy a connected vehicle.
Google has been testing 20 self-driving prototypes in Mountain View. The Google SUV’s bumper was slightly damaged.
“Other drivers have hit us 14 times since the start of our project in 2009 (including 11 rear-enders), and not once has the self-driving vehicle been the cause of the collision”, he explained.
However, the monthly reports won’t provide information on the human drivers required to ride along in the cars.
In a telephone interview, Urmson said his team was exploring whether its cars could do something to alert distracted drivers before a collision.
Mountain View police responded, but did not file an accident report. Honking the horn would be one possibility, but Mr Urmson said he anxious that could annoy residents of Mountain View.