Google's self-driving cars have hit a bump in the road, make that a bus in the road.

March 01, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Google’s self-driving cars have taken a hit to their reputation as they are determined to be partially at blame for an accident in California last month. It isn’t the first accident for the fleet of self-driving cars but it is the first one that Google has been held at fault. On Valentine’s Day the car and its human were pulling out of a driveway at 3km/h when it pulled in front of a public bus that was travelling much faster.

The human in the Google car reported that he thought the bus would slow down to let the car out and on that basis the human did not override the car’s actions. As it turns out the car and bus collided with no injuries. Google has issued a public statement to the effect that without the presence of their car no accident would have occurred.

For its part Google has indicated that the driving situation was complicated by the presence of sandbags on the road. Programmers have now refined the computer algorithm to account for this situation and in the future the cars will react with more caution on the basis that large vehicles and buses are less likely to yield than expected.

The question of accidents and self-driving cars is a curious one as some manufacturers have already stated that in accidents where self-driving cars are involved and the human is not the manufacturer will accept liability for the accident. This has many people wondering whether the manufacturers intend to enter into the car insurance market eliminating the big players in the field now.

Without question traditional car insurers must be worried about the profit margins that they will be able to expect when cars drive themselves and the large number of accidents involving human error are eliminated. Insurers will hardly be able to command the money they do now when accident rates and settlement costs drop as expected.

Posted under Personal Injury, Car Accidents, Spinal Cord Injury

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The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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