Google’s self-driving robot car has taken yet another step toward becoming more like a human-operated vehicle. It got into an accident and blamed the other driver.
Initial reports claim that the Robot Prius rear-ended another vehicle, causing more and more cars to slam into each other. Among the victims was another Prius, this one sans robot. Google says that the accident happened because the car’s robot mode was switched to manual, and it was being driven by a human driver.
In a statement, Google insinuated that the fact that the accident was the result of human error, highlights the need for more robot car development.” One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.”
The spokesman has a point. Google’s small fleet of robot cars have driven a total of 140,000 miles so far and have not had an accident yet or even received a ticket. Nevertheless, the states of California and Nevada, which allows these cars on the road, continues to insist that there be a human driver present in them.
Now if it only the robot car had an app to give bad drivers the finger …