Recent articles show that the Google autonomous vehicle has just now completed 300,000 miles of road tests and engineers hope to keep the tests going until they’ve mastered snow-covered roadways and other hurdles drivers may face in a daily basis.
According to the news, tests come to prove that the average American may not be as efficient behind the wheel as the autonomous vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration looked into data that shows that the average driver in America is involved in an accident every ten years, which adds up to one accident every 165,000 miles.
The reports of the recent Google car road tests indicate that while these vehicles were driven for 300,000 miles, no accident was reported. That makes the robot engineered by Google a much safer driver than any American, according to the test reports and the data collected by the NHTSA.
Although engineers stated that a wide variety of road conditions and circumstances were tested, Google wants the autonomous system to master every type of situation a driver can encounter, including construction work zone cones and signs.
During the tests, two drivers were always behind the wheel in case something went wrong. Either driver may take over at any time in case the system fails or conditions turn out to be too much for the autonomous system to handle. By keeping the drivers present, Google hopes to run more road tests and perfect the recognition system of the driverless cars.
According to the reports, all tests were run with the help of a Toyota Prius but soon, a Lexus RX450h will be added to the fleet of autonomous cars.
Two years ago, Google happily commented on the road test that took the driverless car from the Silicon Valley to San Francisco. The autonomous vehicle maneuvered the tricky Lombard Street, managed to navigate the Pacific Coast Highway without any major issues, cross the Golden Gate bridge and even take the drivers for a ride around the Lake Tahoe.
No accidents were reported.
Hopefully, engineers will be able to invest more time in improving this system so the autonomous car can be taken to all consumers and lives are safe because the driverless vehicles will keep occupants from being involved in auto crashes. As a personal injury lawyer I’m glad to learn that more engineers are coming up with ways to keep drivers and passengers safe.
For more on the Google car and how it could change the lives of drivers across the nation, click here.