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Are Google’s Automatic Cars Better at Avoiding Accidents Than People?

Avoiding Accidents
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Google’s self-driving cars have been all over the news these days. It’s of particular relevance to Floridians since this is one of the four states that have explicitly passed laws permitting automatic vehicles.

The cars won’t be distributed to the public for at least another few years by Google’s estimates. Though others expect for it to be a couple of decades before the self-driving cars truly proliferate. In the meantime, it’s good to be informed about these vehicles and how they may impact you.

Things to know:

  • 48 self-driving cars have permits.
  • The cars have been tested since 2009.
  • In the six years they’ve been testing, the cars have covered a total of 1.7 million miles; approximately 1 million miles were on self-driving mode.
  • Since beginning testing, there have only been 11 minor accidents involving these cars. They were not at fault in any of the accidents.
  • The DMV is still drafting rules for when the general public gets behind the wheel.
  • For the purpose of testing, the DMV has licensed 255 people for automatic cars.

Are they safe?

According to the data that’s been recorded by google thus far, the 11 accidents involving automated vehicles is equivalent to 0.6 per 100,000 miles. The national average for “property-damage-only crashes” is about 0.3 per 100,000 miles. The tracked data shows a bit of an increase, but it’s important to take into account that the number may be inflated, since many minor accidents are not reported.

The idea is to program future vehicles to respond when it senses an accident. Using sensors and cameras, the cars can collect data of surrounding circumstances. Say a vehicle is about to rear-end your car while you’re stopped. There isn’t anything you can do, even if you see it coming, but future cars might have settings that make the car tighten your seatbelt in response.

Currently, all of the automatic vehicles have drivers behind the wheel that can take control if the need arises. If there is an accident, you simply notify the insurance companies, and follow normal procedures.

Graham Legal has a team of litigators experienced in personal injury cases, including Miami automobile accidents. If you have recently been involved in an accident and want advice from a trusted source, schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys today.

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