Does Google lead the way in driver-less car race?

Self-driving cars are no longer from the realm of science fiction. The race to convert research and development in the fields of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, to have it now fully developed driver-less vehicles, is on among the world’s top vehicle manufacturers, vehicle product makers and the Google itself.

Within a few more years Google is most likely to come up with driver-less vehicles and vehicle manufacturers like BMW, Daimler, Volvo, Nissan, Ford, Toyota, Volkswagen, Continental etc. are most likely predicted to take more time. Google’s driver-less cars have driven accident-free on the roads in the United States. Google’s self-driving cars have clocked over 400,000 miles on California public roads. Other vehicle makers are also joining the race.

When can we commercially buy these driverless vehicles?

Everyone is interested in knowing when these vehicles would be available commercially. Recently, Gene Munster asked Larry Page of Google had a conversation about how Google would make self-driving cars a real business.

An open road for the future of Google driver-less vehicles?
An open road for the future of Google driver-less vehicles?

Gene Munster – Piper Jaffray: Hi, good afternoon. Question for Larry in terms of, you talked about R&D spending and just the amount that you’re going to be gauging at. Can you talk specifically about self-driving cars that realize way down the road, but how real is this as a business?

Larry Page – CEO: Okay, great questions from Gene; thank you. So I think, I guess on self-driving cars specifically I think for any big innovation I think you overestimate short-term and underestimate long-term, that’s probably good summary for self-driving cars. I think we made tremendous progress and we’ve driven large amounts of miles, how we change the business from being something that wasn’t going to happen at all to something that now is somewhere inevitable and people’s feelings about it which I think is tremendous progress. That said it’s still pretty early days from the product, I don’t know exactly what I have been saying but it’s still ways from being a commercial product. Probably overestimate that in the short-term like I said and underestimate that in the long-term.

Self-driving cars could save thousands of lives:
Distracted driving, drunk driving or disabilities a human can have to efficiently be able to operate a vehicle, holds substantial number reasons vehicle accidents occur every year. Government research indicates that driver error is likely the main reason behind over 90 percent of all crashes. A system that is smart and can learn would never drink alcohols, do drugs, get distracted, fall asleep, run red lights, or tailgate. In this aspect of the scenario, there is no doubt that the smart machine would have an advantage over the human for safety transporting anything from point A to point B.

A foundation dedicated to improving transportation, the Eno Center for Transportation study says, “the advantages of self-driving cars are such that if only 10 percent of cars and trucks on the road were self-driving, they could reduce traffic deaths by 1,000 per year and produce nearly $38 billion in economic and other savings”

Most of the features that are required into the creation of self-driving cars are already starting to be implemented in the everyday vehicle we drive: Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring systems, lane departure warning systems, collision avoidance systems, parking assist systems and many more. California, Florida and Nevada have passed laws to regulate the licensing and operation of self-driving cars. California has directed that licensing requirements be ready by 2015. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is conducting research on the self-driving vehicles.

What next?
The driverless cars can substantially decrease vehicle accidents and the resulting personal injuries but at the same time we cannot undermine the unseen problems that might come when this technology actually starts to be implemented. One of them is the failure of the system or the defect in the machine learning algorithms or any other unknown problems. But, Google is definitely leading its way in the process of making driver-less cars a reality from science fiction and would definitely work on minimizing the unseen problem, challenges and the safety of public at large.

Is Google’s Self Driving Autonomous Cars the indication of world without Crashworthiness Lawsuits and Laws in future?
Definitely not! If anything goes wrong in automated vehicles, under automated control, it would bring vehicle manufacturers subject to liability and claims for the sustained injuries to driver or the passengers of the automated driver-less vehicle.

The TRACY Firm has been holding the vehicle manufactures liable for their negligence in safety of the vehicle’s driver and occupants due to many defects (airbag, seat, rollover, structure etc). The law firm is specialized in handling only defective vehicle accident and injury cases but all over the nation for possible crashworthiness claims.

Contact us, or, call at 214-324-9000 if you or your loved ones are seriously injured in vehicle accident.

By P.S. at The Tracy Firm | October 22nd 2013
Business Insider, Herald-Tribune, Eno Center for Transportation