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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Self-Driving Cars Make Mistakes Too, Google Reveals [Report]

Just because a self-driving car has the latest safety technology in it doesn't absolve it from making mistakes. In a report submitted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Google has reported the exact number of times its autonomous vehicle has slipped up and forced a driver to take over during testing.

Google is one of the leaders in testing autonomous vehicles and licensed to do so in several states in the United States. According to the report it recently submitted to the California DMV, in the 14 months leading up to December, Google cars have logged more than 420,000 miles (676,000 kilometers).

In those 420k miles, there were 272 instances where "system anomalies" caused drivers to take the wheel during testing. There were an additional 69 occasions when drivers seized control from automated systems based on their own judgement calls.

The report suggests the most common cause for intervention being failure of the automated technology to correctly sense a real-world situation.

Google went a step further in testing by playing out the conditions in a simulator to see whether the vehicle would have hit something had the human not taken control. The simulator determined that 13 of the 69 "driver-initiated disengagements" would have resulted in crashes if the car had been steering itself.

Two of the incidents involved traffic cones while three were blamed on reckless driving by someone in another vehicle. In spite of these incidents, head of Google's self-driving car team, Chris Urmson said, "this trend looks good," as only eight near-misses took place over 53,000 miles and the other five happened over 370,000 miles of testing.

The details in Google's report were first published by Yahoo News. You can read the entire news story on their website.

Source: Yahoo News
Image source: Google

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