Google Continues To Test Its Self-Driving Cars On Public Roads, Despite Accident Reports

Google first made the initial announcement in May that they were planning to upgrade from track-testing and begin testing Google self-driving cars on public roads. On Tuesday, Google revealed that the self-driving cars were experiencing issues.

During its six years of testing, reports have shown that the Google robot car has been in 11 accidents total, according to Digital Trend. Despite the issues, Google is continuing to test their self-driving cars on public roads because, according to a recent statement by the Program Director, Chris Urmson, the cars were not at fault for the accidents.

“Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” Urmson stated.

Are robots safer drivers than actual people. According to Urmson, the answer is yes.

“If you spend enough time on the road, accidents will happen whether you’re in a car or a self-driving car,” he explained. Because of this theory, Google will reportedly continue to test their cars.

“We’ll continue to drive thousands of miles so we can all better understand the all-too common incidents that cause many of us to dislike day-to-day driving  —  and we’ll continue to work hard on developing a self-driving car that can shoulder this burden for us.”

While Google believes that it’s being forthcoming with information that proves the safety of self-driving cars being on public roads, some technology expert believe that the company is withholding some information. Recently, John Simpson, the Privacy Director for Consumer Watchdog, made a statement against Google and its self-driving cars.

“Google is dribbling out bits of information in the hope to silence legitimate calls for full transparency. They are testing on public roads, and the public has a right to know exactly what happened when something goes wrong.”

Simpson’s statement was in response to Google’s first monthly report on the progress of self-driving cars. The report does give specifics on which types of cars were used and which mode the self-driving vehicle was driving under. The available modes are the same as vehicle driven by people, manual or autonomous. The report reveals that manual self-driving cars are so far much safer than autonomous self-driving cars. Google’s Chris Urmson feels that this report is just one of many because there is still much more to be learned about Google self-driving cars.

“Our cars have seen thousands of vehicles and pedestrians, and know what they look like, and can use that not only to detect, but to predict how they’re going to move in the world. But no matter how many million miles you have on the road, you haven’t seen it all.”

[Image via Forbes]