The development of self-driving cars is expected to reduce 40,000 traffic accidents in the United States every year. However, achieving this goal will take years, if not decades, at least. With the high incidence of autonomous vehicle accidents, people are left wondering: how to deal with the global test of robots and artificial intelligence? How can the public be unwilling to participate? Can a car accident be avoided?
Currently publicly available data is still very limited. Autonomous driving is a highly competitive field, and companies are mostly reluctant to proactively share too many details. Also, companies will invite media or government officials to test ride the cars they develop only if they perform well and are strictly controlled. However, there are still some flaws that have been picked up by the media. The Information has reported that Waymo cars had problems turning left, which disappointed users.
Of the 49 reports submitted for accidents involving autonomous driving, 28 were rear-ended, accounting for nearly 2/3. This was followed by “side collision pedestrian” and “other” incidents. (Two of the pedestrian crashes were reportedly caused by pedestrians approaching and hitting cars.)
Analysis of rear-end collision
Generally speaking, under the legal framework, if someone rear-ends someone from behind, then the owner of the car must be fully responsible.
However, 22 of the 28 accidents occurred in self-driving mode, which is so high that there must be something wrong with the self-driving vehicle ahead.
Are these vehicles too excited to run? Or do you often park for no reason? Of course, these are not bad things. It shows that the manufacturer attaches great importance to safety. It is definitely better to stop the car twice than to have a vicious accident.
Unfortunately, the basic qualities of a good driver are not surprising. Not a self-driving car, which is often unexpected when it hits the brakes.
The cause of the side impact is also uncomplicated, with a human driver getting distracted trying to overtake a slow or stopped autonomous car.
Of course, we can’t be 100% sure whether self-driving cars are neurotic, after all, the California DMV does not require companies to report miles driven in different modes.
Regarding this issue, Cruise co-founder Kyle Vogt pointed out in a Medium article, “They are all self-driving cars, of course, most of the time automation.” However, Cruise is reluctant to release detailed figures.
In the report, Cruise is a fairly representative company because of its sizeable test fleet in San Francisco.
For seasoned human drivers, San Francisco is a traffic hell with countless tricky intersections, carts, bicycles, pedestrians, road works and steep hills to conquer.
In addition, San Francisco has a variety of drivers who drive hard.
In Cuirse’s opinion, this is the best “training ground”, much more “interesting” than the relatively simple and boring Arizona streets.
The data shows that Cruise triggers a state of emergency 46 times more often in San Francisco than in suburban Phoenix, and 39 times more often on construction sites.
The researchers are quite pragmatic, and they all agree that there can be no safer self-driving cars without road testing.
However, this also raises new questions.
Matthew Johnson-Roberson, director of the Ford Center for Autonomous Driving at the University of Michigan, said: “Is it really good to have a brain on the street before passing a certain level of basic performance testing?”
It is true that California’s test licenses need to be applied for, but Caltrans did not provide test questions for various self-driving companies.
Vogt pointed out that reports of self-driving car accidents in California show that humans expect others to break traffic rules, such as speeding for a yellow light or driving over the speed limit, but self-driving cars do not.
If drivers knew that self-driving cars obeyed the law, they would avoid all kinds of unrealistic fantasies, and our roads would be safer.
That said, there should be more effective interactions between humans and self-driving cars.
Increase awareness of self-driving cars
What’s the point of this type of accident?
– Cognition. If the public can learn more about these self-driving cars (how they work, test, and habits), they will definitely benefit from them.
However, this process requires companies to be open and honest, and generously admit the upper limit of the capabilities of their own vehicles, rather than brushing their presence with dazzling PPT.
Some companies are reluctant to convey similar messages in order to demonstrate a sense of technology, but if the industry establishes basic testing standards, this will be very useful in improving user acceptance.
Finally, if you’re lucky enough to see a self-driving car on the road, don’t be distracted while following it, leaving yourself plenty of time and space to react.