On an accident-per-mile basis, Google’s automated automobiles are already safer than the average driver. But with more driverless cars on the road, there are gonna be some kinks and some dents. Take what happened earlier this week, when a driverless Delphi Automotive Audi Q5 and a driverless Google Lexus RX400h did the ol’ near miss dance. A Silicon Valley commute tragedy was narrowly averted.
Here’s what Delphi director and passenger in the Audi John Absmeier told Reuters (Google kept mum):
As the Delphi vehicle prepared to change lanes, a Google self-driving prototype - a Lexus RX400h crossover fitted with similar hardware and software — cut off the Audi, forcing it to abort the lane change
It’s thought to be the first interaction of its kind between two rival driverless cars. What about the other firsts we can look forward to when driverless cars become ubiquitous on the road over the next 5 years?
2016: First driverless Google car to tailgate a slower driverless car
2017: First driverless car to start honking in a drive-through line because it doesn’t have all goddam morning to wait for a McMuffin
September, 2017: First attempt at a driverless drag-race fails to start, as neither party can hear the other’s revving electric engine
2018: First driverless car to sneak out of its owner’s driveway at 2 a.m. gets caught hanging out with a moped behind a Chucky Cheese
2019: First driverless car to pretend the brakes are out going downhill toward a busy intersection, and, at the last moment say, “JK, JK”
2020: First driverless car on Russian roads immediately pulls this stunt