• http://www.michaelcropper.co.uk/ Michael Cropper

    Based on how many times Google messes up their normal search results…. I would hate to think how many ‘accidents’ are likely to happen with their driverless cars. “Whoops, sorry, our sensing algorithm got its wires crossed”. Just a little cynical and apprehensive based on their performance to date…

  • Tony Demetriou

    Given how often humans mess up in their normal operations, you can have a look at traffic accident statistics, and compare whether we’ve got a better or worse track record than the google products.

    Yeah, these cars will have accidents. There will be problems with the code. There will be problems with the hardware. Brake pads will wear out, oil will leak, cars will hit things that they failed to sense. It will be bad, lives might be lost. Nobody wants that.

    But all of those things are already happening right now, with human drivers. The question isn’t whether autonomous cars will make mistakes. The question is whether those cars will make more or less mistakes than human drivers, and whether the mistakes they do make will be larger or smaller in scale.

    I’ve had a few (thankfully minor) accidents while driving. Nothing worse than some bent fenders. But in all of those cases, a computer could have avoided the problem. They were all low-speed, and caused by inattention.

    At high speeds, the gains are even more. A computer being able to hit the brakes even 1 second earlier than a human can make a HUGE difference in the total amount of damage (and risk to live) from a collision.

  • http://www.michaelcropper.co.uk/ Michael Cropper

    Who its to blame when things do go wrong? You can’t take a computer to court for causing an accident. Or should the driver be ultimately responsible even though it wasn’t them that caused the incident?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big of a geek as the next person and can’t wait for technology like this. I just think there is a lot to work through before this type of technology is robust enough.