California motorists may be interested to know that Google robot cars are causing twice as many accidents as human drivers. These slow-speed accidents are due to the Google cars' overly cautious programming, which sometimes leads to human drivers hitting the robot drivers from behind. For now, Google would rather be too cautious and let other drivers be at-fault than have their cars make front-page news.
Robot cars are made to drive the speed limit; however, drivers on the highway are often going much faster. When merging into traffic and needing to cross multiple lanes, robot cars may not be able to adjust to the faster traffic. Google cars also react quicker than human drivers and often stop for reasons that a person would not expect, such as someone near the edge of a sidewalk. This could cause a human driver to rear-end the robot car.
A policeman in California became the first to pull over a Google car. It was going 24 mph in a 35 mph zone and causing traffic to back up. Without a driver to ticket, he warned the engineers inside that they were creating a hazard. The sergeant believes that erring on the side of caution is a good thing, but something can be too cautious. Google doesn't believe that its careful cars are a road hazard. California proposed rules that say a human should be able to take the wheel if necessary. Google opposes this because they want to offer self-driving, ride-for-hire services.
If someone has been injured by a car that caused a hazard on the road, then an experienced personal injury attorney could help. An attorney could file the legal paperwork to start a claim and fight for the person in court. They could aid them in receiving compensation for damages such as medical expenses, car repair and pain and suffering.
Source: Bloomberg, "Humans Are Slamming Into Driverless Cars and Exposing a Key Flaw," Keith Naughton, Dec. 17, 2015