Unfortunately for the detractors – by no means few – of the upcoming technology, the accidents involving self-driving vehicles have been so far deemed minor and the driverless cars were not the ones to blame.
In the Us, during the past eight months four autonomous vehicles – all prototypes – have been involved in crashes on the roads of the state of California – which allows testing of such vehicles under real life conditions. Three of the cars were being tested by Google, today considered one of the leaders in the emerging fields of autonomous transport. A report coming from the Associated Press, two of the vehicles were in full autonomous mode and the other two were in the manual model, which has a human taking control of the vehicle’s driving functions. The AP further said all incidents were at low speeds, no more than 10 miles per hour, but no details were disclosed if there were human injuries or how severe the cars were damaged. Google and Delphi, an auto parts suppliers also testing autonomous vehicles said that neither of the autonomous vehicles was to blame for the accidents.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has also not released any details regarding the incidents, with the information deemed confidential – the regulations have allowed so far the state to issue permits for testing of autonomous vehicles to seven different companies and a total of 48 test vehicles. California is the second state to issue permits for self-driving cars to be used on public roads, following Nevada – which recently also issued the first-ever permit for an autonomous truck, Daimler AG’s Freightliner Inspiration.