Self-driving cars, like baby snakes and teenagers, are more afraid of you than you are of them. With good reason.
On Thursday an updated report released by the state of California to the Associated Press showed that self-driving cars by Google and Delphi Automotive’s greatest threat is their creator: Humans. The report detailed six accidents that involved self-driving cars found that most of the accident were minor in car damage and human injury, and that humans were mostly at fault.
The Associated Press went after the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for withholding specifics on these accidents. The lack of transparency upset critics who wanted a better understanding of what may be the future of driving. All of these accidents occurred around Silicon Valley in Mountain View or Palo Alto, raising the question of whether the local authorities were burying details on the accidents to carry water for the local tech giants.
Introduced in 2009, the self-driving Google car received plenty of skepticism over their safety and how responsive they could be on the dynamic road. That concern is borne out in some current data by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that show self-driving cars have an accident rate of about 4 every 100,000 miles, higher than the 0.3 nationwide average for accidents that don’t lead to injuries.
Driverless cars seem to be managing safely, for the most part — a good sign for these companies. If only the same could be said for the rest of us carbon-based drivers out there ripping up the roads.