Google “perplexed” by California’s driverless car ruling 0

Google aren’t pleased with the proposed California ruling regarding autonomous vehicles. The tech-company says the proposal to have someone at the wheel of the driverless car is “perplexing”.


Chris Urmson, head of Google’s self-drive division, wrote in a blog post last Thursday: “This maintains the same old status quo and falls short on allowing this technology to reach its full potential, while excluding those who need to get around but cannot drive”.

“While we’re disappointed by this, we will continue to work with the DMV as they seek feedback in the coming months, in the hope they can recapture the original spirit of the bill,” he writes. “California is a state with both world-class car culture and world-class innovation, and we can do better.”

Google has been using the Californian roads to test its fleet of driverless cars, with the current mileage totalled at 1.3 million between them. It appeared that the state, after being so accommodating to the testing, would provide a different result to the future of autonomous road rules.

The tech giant can’t be too happy with the state’s ruling but they seem optimistic that over time, the results will (hopefully) change. Otherwise this could prove a big speed-bump in the technology’s development and progress.

The lack of driver control seems to worry the officials the most. Without a steering wheel or pedals, a driver would not be able to gain control of the vehicle in the event of preventing a crash, for example. Google did explain how the car’s computer works and they’ve said that the cars are far more intelligent than human drivers because they eliminate human-driver error, which equates for 90% of all car accidents.

In the six years that Google has been testing its driverless cars, there have only been 16 minor accidents and all were caused by a human-driver in another vehicle. We’ll have to wait and see what the future of autonomous technology is, but if the rules aren’t put in place, then we may never see them commercially available.



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