After several years and thousands of miles of testing autonomous cars in California and Nevada, Google finally has something to show for its work – other than driving a blind man to get a taco. According to Technology Review, Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car program, says that Google has data showing that autonomous cars are safer and smoother than actual drivers. This, of course, is a big improvement over Google's statement from 2011 that claimed autonomous cars are safer than drunk drivers.

Google has been testing autonomous cars on public roads since 2010, and it always has someone in the driver's seat. This allowed Google to test the car with both the computer and human in control, and the data reveals that the autonomous pilot has smoother braking and acceleration as well as a safer following distance than its human counterpart.

The article also says that Google's data can be helpful in proving who is at fault in an accident. One of its autonomous cars was rear-ended while stopped, and the data showed that the car had come to a smooth stop before being hit by the other driver who presumably wasn't paying enough attention.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 61 Comments
      Number23
      • 1 Year Ago
      Were I a taxi driver or long haul trucker I'd be worried.
      • 1 Year Ago
      [blocked]
      FIDTRO
      • 1 Year Ago
      No matter how much safer it might be, I'd still like to be in control of my car when I'm in it.
      hocus_focus
      • 1 Year Ago
      So, Google cars are better drivers than Google employees. Good to know.
      ufgrat
      • 1 Year Ago
      So why didn't the stopped autonomous car, seeing a car coming up too fast in the rear view mirror, not flash its brake lights to try to alert the oncoming driver? After all, it's what I would have done.
        oRenj9
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ufgrat
        Then you'd be at fault when you get rear-ended by the guy and t-boned by oncoming traffic.
        AdamsH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @ufgrat
        Weird... I would have pulled out of the way if I noticed I was about to be rear-ended; that being said it is not something you typically would notice before it happened, do you stare into your rearview mirror? If so you are wrong; you should be looking forward at the light ahead of you.
          Brian P
          • 1 Year Ago
          @AdamsH
          Ummm, every motorcyclist taking advanced rider courses is taught to keep an eye on the mirrors when stopping (and every car driver should be taught that). The traffic light up ahead is worth paying attention to up until the time it changes to yellow or red. Once the traffic light up ahead has done that, there is no point continuing to look at it. You know you are supposed to stop ... but what the traffic behind is doing needs to be taken into account at this point. I've avoided being hit by changing lane position to get out of the way of something coming up behind that wasn't gonna stop. It's better to run a stale yellow than to get run over by a dump truck. Many, many times I've modulated my stopping to intentionally stop past the stop line and borderline into the intersection because it was questionable whether the car behind was going to make it. When a traffic signal turns yellow at a borderline time, I simultaneously hit the brake and look in the mirrors. It's an ingrained habit to do that. What's in the mirror can change the decision of whether I'm going to stop or not.
      nocommie11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Yes, but so much gayer!
        Card13
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        You are absolutely correct, the extra sensors and electronics in the vehicle make you suddenly attracted to the same sex. Please go do your chores and homework.
        mapoftazifosho
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        There's currently no cool way to drive through gridlock traffic...unless of course you had one of these autonomous cars...
        j5
        • 1 Year Ago
        @nocommie11
        It is quite a happy thing, isn't it? :)
      Ryan Khoury
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why does everything have to hinge around safety. Driving isn't just about getting from point A to B. It's about enjoyment, freedom and just time being alone. I don't want to live in a world where my drive to work gets turned into time where I can be productive putting that presentation together for work. I also don't want to live in a world where getting a scuffed knee or a broken arm results in the banning of this or that for safety purposes.
      Feurig
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm fine with autonomous driving as long as they don't take my right to drive away.
        oRenj9
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Feurig
        Driving isn't a right, that's why you need a license to do so.
      Dan
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm safer and faster, bring it on Google.
      Trevor
      • 1 Year Ago
      Meh........ This headline is bullish!t, I would believe it if it said "Google says its driverless cars are safer than 99.9% of asian drivers"
      Enki Ea
      • 1 Year Ago
      The whole idea of driverless cars is just an exercise on technology. What I totally dislike about Google is that they are trying to push this down our throats. People love to drive! Don't mess with our desires unless you want to see us create "googleless" companies or maybe just "erase" Google owners!
        krische
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Enki Ea
        Actually, most people don't love to drive. They just see it as something they have to do in order to do other things. For example, they have to drive in order to get to work or they have to drive in order to take their kids to school. Source: Sales numbers of "appliance" cars.
          Julio B
          • 1 Year Ago
          @krische
          @Essende, Machines have been taking over the manual and some of the intellectual labor of humans since the invention of the wheel... Look at the history of the industrial revolution. People will adapt and change, there is nothing new about this.
          Essende
          • 1 Year Ago
          @krische
          @Julio B, but never in the history of mankind has technology evolved as such a fast pace as it is now. Technology is replacing human labor and at the same time human population is growing, meaning, there will not be enough jobs for actual humans if most of the jobs will be operated by robots/computers. The current economic crisis, I believe, is an accumulation of technology misplacing human labor and it if you really dig down into worldwide statistics, there simply are less and less human oriented jobs. Even in China, a lot of factories are turning to robots as over the long run it will be even cheaper to manufacture than with the already cheap human labor. But the question is, if most people will not have jobs, who will buy the corporate crap? And I do not believe USA is out of any crisis either, I actually think the worse is still ahead... Current economy is based on unsustainable cheap credit and nothing really has been done to help the so called middle class...
          Essende
          • 1 Year Ago
          @krische
          @krische, most people also don't like their jobs and don't really like going to school either. Maybe we should come up with robots to substitute for us too... But then, what will humans do for a living if all the jobs will be occupied by robots/machines/computers? Anyway, autonomous cars spell doom for the entire transportation sector, from bus/taxi drivers to truck/UPS/Fedex drivers in which case they will just hire minimum wage workers to just deliver the packages from the truck to the door without any driving involved. Also, google is interested in autonomous cars so that they will have another way of shoving their ads in our faces via infotainment screens and whatever else they will come up with... It's actually amazing to me that these days everyone says that they are "busy" and have no time on their hands yet people 25 years ago without as much technology had more time on their hands.
      Brian Regan
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not to be overly dramatic, but there is absolutely nothing that could be said or done to convince me autonomous cars are a good idea.
        Bernard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Brian Regan
        I hope you like wood stoves and thatched roofs. Just make sure to put your abacus down and move your donkey off the road when my driver-less car is passing though.
    • Load More Comments