Reuters Report: Near Collision Linked to Google Car

When it comes to the autonomous car technology, many of us remain skeptical.

The latest reports concerning a near collision may be causing more of us to voice concern over the feasibility of the autonomous car technology, but according to experts, there’s nothing to fear, after all, 32,675 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014 due to human error, not technology failure.

For the past six years, Google and other companies have been testing their own versions of the driverless car technology. As the technology advanced, companies began using public roads to have the systems tested. And as minor accidents associated with the technologies were made public, more people began questioning the risks associated with the self-driving technology.

But a new report on a near collision is causing public confidence on the safety of self-driving technology. According to the report, the near accident involved two self-driving cars. Reuters reported last week that one vehicle was operated by Google while the other was operated by Delphi Automotive. Both vehicles nearly collided in Palo Alto, California.

As soon as the report hit the news, however, Google denied the report while Delphi claimed Reuters took the near collision out of context.

According to Reuters, the Delphi-operated Audi Q5 was on San Antonio Road when it was cut off by a Lexus SUV run by Google. According to Delphi, the story was taken out of context because Reuters failed to report the incident was simply an example of lane change scenario provided by Delphi. Since the occurrence is recent, the company used the example to demonstrate the vehicle handled with the occurrence well. Instead of being a near accident, it was just a lane change scenario. Reporting on the story as a near accident may make the public believe the technology failed to secure occupants in a real-world situation.

While both cars are fitted with similar technology and drivers were present in case of an emergency, the vehicles did not collide. Both vehicles were equipped with lasers, cameras, computer systems, and radars. The technology allows the vehicles to handle all the driving, making accidents caused by human errors less likely to occur.

While the current version of the Google Car still has steering wheels and brakes, companies testing this type of technology might soon obtain permission to go completely human-free. Until then, the public and government regulators will continue to demand companies like Google and Delphi to prove their vehicles are safe.

Outside the United States, drivers aren’t entirely sure they would be able to trust the autonomous technology. A recent study showed that six out of every ten people who were surveyed claimed they were not entirely comfortable traveling in a driverless vehicle. Only 35 percent of the respondents claimed they would feel comfortable.

For those who are concerned, you may learn more about the autonomous car technology by following this link to read the full report.


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