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First Shared Negligence Google Self-Driving Car Collision

Google self-driving cars have been operating on the public roads of Mountain View, California, for the past year and a half. By October, 2015 Google cars had been involved in 11 minor collisions that were the fault of the other driver, according to Techcrunch. None of those accidents resulted in an injury. However, just recently, a February collision was partially the fault of the Google car. During the year and a half of testing and 424,331 autonomous miles on public roads, the human driver within the Google self-driven car had to take control of the vehicle 340 times, or 22.7 times per month, according to an article in consumerreports.org. Of these 340 separate incidents, the computer failed and automatically gave the human driver control 272 of those times, while 69 times the driver took control themselves.

February 14 Incident With Bus

Google is only admitting partial fault for the February 14th collision, which is typical in many auto accidents: both parties may share some of the blame. In fact, Florida is a pure comparative negligence state, meaning that blame may be distributed among multiple parties and the party that was most at fault will not receive any compensation, while the party that was less at fault will only receive partial compensation for their injuries and damages. On February 14, Google’s 2012 Lexus RX 450h was attempting to make a red turn on a red light. It had stopped, legally, at the intersection when the car noticed sandbags placed in a close by gutter. The car halted, waited for other cars to pass, and made the turn, assuming an oncoming bus would yield. The bus did not yield, and the car collided with the bus at two miles per hour (the bus was travelling 15 miles per hour).  The human driver in the car assumed, just like the computer, that the bus would yield. Google issued a statement saying, “Our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future.”

The Drive to Make Self-Driving Cars For the Future Lies in Safety

The National Highway Transportation Safety Agency stated that it would begin working with manufacturers and experts to develop a set of criteria governing self-driving technology. The fact is that human drivers will always become distracted, impatient, aggressive, or make otherwise unethical or rash decisions behind the wheel of a car, which result in injuries and fatalities no matter how well developed the automobile’s safety features. It may be another decade before self-driving cars become a reality, but for some, that day cannot come soon enough. If you or a loved one has suffered a severe injury, or a loved one has died , in an automobile collision, contact an experienced car accident attorney at the law offices Gillette Law, P.A. in Jacksonville, Florida and Brunswick, Georgia at 888-366-5904 today for legal advice. You may be owed considerable compensation for those injuries or wrongful death.

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