(PC World) – Google says its self-driving cars can make driving safer because they pay better attention to the road than humans do—though there have been dings along the way.
While smartphones and other in-car distractions can fatally hinder a driver’s concentration, “a self-driving car has people beat on this dimension of road safety,” says Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car program. With 360-degree visibility, the newest sensors in Google’s fleet can keep track of other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians to a distance of nearly two football fields, he wrote in a post on Medium on Monday.
Still, Google’s cars have been involved in 11 accidents in the six years the company has been testing them, Urmson reported. The fleet of 20-plus cars has covered 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving in that time.
In all cases, there was only light damage and no injuries. And not once did a Google car cause the accident, he wrote.