Despite politicians typically not being the most forward thinking bunch, the U.S. transport secretary, Anthony Foxx, hasn’t jumped on a recent crash of Google’s autonomous car into a bus, claiming that it was inevitable with new technology, but that the government would continue to drive it forward.
The Obama administration, as with the British government, have been impressively supportive of autonomous vehicles. Despite their potential to kill off driving professions like lorry driving and taxis, the savings when it comes to driver and passenger safety are too difficult to ignore.
While you might assume such an accident as the Google car crash would prove a big set back, that hasn’t been the case. Perhaps it’s because nobody was hurt in the accident, which saw the Google sensor fitted Lexus attempt to change lanes while crossing a junction, as a bus came up behind it. The accident happened with the bus travelling at 15 miles per hour, while the Google car was barely moving.
Because of that and an appreciation for technology that still needs further refinement, Foxx has said that nobody should expect such technology to be perfect, but was still excited by its potential. There are currently plans to have seven U.S. cities trial autonomous vehicles on their roads within the next couple of years. The Obama administration has also pledged more than $4 billion to aid development (as per the BBC).
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KitGuru Says: If anything, it’s impressive how few incidents there have been involving Google and others’ autonomous cars. This should highlight how rare they are.