Will autonomous cars make traffic on streets and highways safer? Probably yes. But recent events suggest that this day is still a long way off: after Tesla and Uber, it was the turn of a Waymo vehicle (autonomous car company linked to Google ) to get involved in an accident.
Waymo car accident (Image: Matt Jaffee)
The accident took place last Friday (4) on an Arizona highway. The company’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid collided head-on and left in a Honda sedan. Fortunately, the person occupying the Waymo vehicle was not seriously injured. There is no information about Honda occupants, but it seems that they were not seriously injured either.
Accidents of autonomous vehicles are not unexpected, even at this stage. What is striking here is the fact that John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo, said that the company’s technology could have prevented the accident with the Uber autonomous car that led to the death of a pedestrian.
The Uber crash could have been prevented by technology, but the latest hit would have been a challenge even for an experienced driver. As the video below shows, Honda was in the opposite direction, trying to avoid a car that crossed the runway, lost control and ended up invading the runway occupied by Waymo’s Chrysler.
Circumstances are still determined, but all indications are that Honda (or the third car) did not follow the red light and, due to the speed, had no choice but to deviate from the car that passed in front. The collision was not worse, as Waymo’s car slowed down, probably stopping at a traffic light.
Since Google started working with self-driving cars in 2009, there have been at least 15 accidents with company vehicles. However, none of them was seriously or directly caused by a technological failure.
With information: The Verge.