It appears that being inside a self-driving vehicle does not guarantee passengers that they will not get into a car accident, at least so far. Two companies working on automated vehicles have admitted that their prototypes have sustained crashes. One of the companies is Google, which announced recently that its vehicles have been in 11 accidents, according to MLive.
Currently, at least seven companies are testing self-driving cars in California, with a total of 48 prototypes with licenses to be tested on public roads. In September, state law began requiring these businesses to disclose when their test vehicles were involved in crashes.
Google said its self-driving cars have been in three collisions since then, on top of eight other accidents since it began experimenting with the technology in 2009. The company claimed all 11 accidents were minor and not due to its technology, but gave no details about any of the incidents.
Besides Google, Delphi Automotive, which is working on its own automated transportation technology, reported two accidents. Delphi also claimed that it was not to blame for its crashes.
Some public safety advocates say that companies should have to provide more details, because passengers could be at risk when these devices go on sale in Pennsylvania and around the country. Reportedly, Google plans to eventually sell cars without steering wheels or foot pedals. This could mean that passengers would have no way to take control if the technology malfunctions and a crash is imminent.
We are years away from self-driving cars becoming a reality. Hopefully, the companies working on these vehicles will iron out all the kinks before marketing them to the public, because then injuries in car accidents would eventually be rare.