A Nissan Leaf car crashed in downtown San Francisco on January 8 while testing the add-on self-driving technology. But according to the report of the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the human driver was responsible for the accident.
While Cruise Automation was testing the Nissan leaf, which was customized by adding the aftermarket self-driving tech, it suddenly had a problem with lane tracking. It was going to the left and then the right, literally drifting. Under the circumstances, the human driver took control of the car, but the car hit another Toyota Prius which was parked there. The DMV report says no cars were severely damaged and there were no injuries.
Self-driving cars are slowly becoming a reality, not a prototype anymore. People seem to be attracted to this new technology, which is delivering by manufacturers like GM, Volvo, Nissan, Tesla, etc.,but, adding this technology toan existing, traditional vehicle—that’s a new one. Internet and robotics expert Kyle Vogt, who is the founder of Cruise, is providing this facility through his company. It actually adds rooftop-mounted sensors, a computer, and actuators to the car that control the steering wheel and pedals.
This particular accident has given rise to the doubt over the subject of the complex relation between human and machine when driving such vehicles. Furthermore, this incident is clearly stating that this technology of adding self-driving capabilities to manual transportation is very complicated.
Automakers have been working on self-driven cars since the 1950s but achieved real success in 1980s with the rise in portable computing power, and since then, there was no stop. Today, companies like Volvo, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, etc. are committed to giving the consumers a fully autonomous car, and hence, tests are being performed more frequently. While nothing’s impossible, there are certain difficulties in acquiring the dream for these people, and they are dealing with various social, psychological, moral, anthropological, and infrastructural dilemmas and constantly finding solutions.
Consumers most likely cannot put their trust on a fully autonomous vehicle, and that is why this tech of providing self-driving amenity along with manual takeover could be the perfect solution. But people are asking whether auto-driven cars are more prone to crashing or not.
According to a study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), self-driving cars do not have higher rates of crashes compared to traditional vehicles, but as these vehicles are still under examination, it is not possible to sum up the result with strong confidence.
According to Detroit, the Obama administration is ready to give a 10-year $4 billion investment to kick-start the development of auto-driven technology. They proposed it on Thursday with the hopes of one day eliminating roadway deaths.