GM, together with Cruise Automation, has been hard at work developing full self-driving technologies for the Chevy Bolt EV. Testing the vehicles in California’s challenging streets, the veteran carmaker and the self-driving firm have been working hand-in-hand at developing a system that would help transition the mass market vehicle to the self-driving age.
If the results of the autonomous Chevy Bolt EV’s September testing are any indication, however, it would seem like the electric car would still need a little more time before its self-driving features could be made mainstream. As it turned out, Cruise Automation’s Chevy Bolt EVs were involved in six vehicular accidents in September alone. That’s twice the number of accidents that Google/Waymo’s vehicles had for the entire year so far, according to a Reuters report.
According to GM and Cruise Automation, however, the autonomous Chevy Bolt EV’s accidents last month were not the result of faulty software or any flaws in the car’s design itself. Instead, the accidents that involved the self-driving car were all the result of some classic human error.
In one particular instance, a Chevy Bolt was rear-ended by a Ford Ranger while the EV was stopped at a red light. The reason for the crash? The driver of the Ranger was using a cellphone when the accident happened, according to a Clean Technica report. Thus, the truck’s driver was not able to step on the brakes on time.
Another notable accident involved a Chevy Bolt EV that was traveling in its lane. While the electric car was just following the road, a drunk cyclist ended up pedaling in the wrong direction towards the Bolt. The Chevy’s human driver opted to control the vehicle to avoid a serious accident manually, but despite this, the cyclist fell over nonetheless. One of the Bolt EV’s external sensors were damaged as a result of the accident.
Another accident that included an autonomous Chevy Bolt EV involved a Dodge Charger, which attempted to initiate an illegal left-lane turn. Just like the accident with the drunk biker, the driver of the Bolt EV managed to take control of the vehicle on time, significantly preventing any serious injuries or damages.
Nevertheless, the front sensor of the Bolt EV was damaged after the Dodge Charger scraped it. Almost proving that human error is the number one cause of vehicle-related accidents, the driver of the Charger also fled the scene immediately after the incident occurred.
Thus, while GM and Cruise Automation’s autonomous Chevy Bolt EVs already have 13 accidents in 2017 so far, it seems pertinent to note that the incidents involving the electric car were all caused by human error. As for Cruise System’s autonomous program itself, it seems like the technology is almost ready for widespread release in the near future.
[Featured Image by Steve Lagreca/Shutterstock]