Crash and Spurn

Last month, one of Google’s autonomous cars caused its first accident. It was a minor incident in which the self-driving Lexus SUV sideswiped a bus while moving at only about two miles per hour. According to Google: “We clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.” So the autonomous car was responsible for the accident, but it won’t quite take full responsibility. Software is getting more human every day.

+ Autonomous cars are coming. And they will be safer. But The Atlantic’s Adrienne LaFrance asks a question that has less to do with science and more to do with people and politics: Can Google’s Driverless Car Project Survive a Fatal Accident?

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