GM Might Regret Saying it Would Take Blame For Autonomous Car Accidents
It was a bold statement considering there have been 13 accidents so far this year…by Robert Moore, on
So, GM say’s it’ll take the heat for crashes involving its level 3 autonomous cars. That’s cool and the gang, but it’s quite possible that the brand spoke a little too soon and it could really come back to bite it right in the ass. How so? Well, when you consider that the month of September alone came with a total of six accidents involving GM’s Cruise Automation Division autonomous cars in the great state of California. To add a bit of an ironic twist, Cruise – which is a division of GM – says none of its cars were actually at fault…. Hmmmm what shoulder are they putting that blame on? After all, there have been 13 accidents involving these cars in California this year too… Okay, maybe we’re talking a little too early here to point out those ironies. According to Cruise, most of the incidents involved drivers of other cars (yes, human, and not AI) running into the autonomous cars that could.
It has been reported that in one case, a guy in a Ford Ranger was playing on his phone and rear-ended one of the self-driving cars. In another instance, a Dodge Charger attempted a risky and illegal overtaking procedure when it scraped the front sensor of the car and took off without the driver even looking in the rearview. There was even one case where a Cruise employee saw an accident in the making – a cyclist that was intoxicated and going in the wrong direction – and attempted to stop, but the cyclist smucked into the little Bolt anyway. Gm’s Cruise division says the new generation of Bolt EVs, which provide level 3 autonomy (think of being on point with Tesla AutoPilot,) but, even if they are, are we ready to share the road with artificial intelligence that is apparently more logical than your typical human driver?
The End Game Doesn’t Look Promising
Autonomous cars are doing quite well these days, but we human drivers…. not so much
So, here’s the deal: Aside from a few rogue Teslas and the occasional red-light-running Uber Volvo, autonomous cars are doing quite well these days, but we human drivers…. not so much. That’s the thing, see. Self-driving cars are machines. Nothing more, nothing less. They operate off basic programming, directives, and algorithms. In short, they are predictable because, ten times out of ten, they are going to have the same response to whatever stimuli sets them off. We humans, on the other hand, are panicky, inconsistent, dangerous creatures that tend to favor kneejerk reactions over a simple, logical thought process. As such, a light changing from green to yellow can result in a different reaction every time it occurs. If we’re in a rush or a bad mood, we might gun it and jump the intersection before it goes red. If we’re calm and collective, we’ll probably stop and enjoy the song playing on the radio. Then, there’s Molly not-going-to-live-long Smith with her nose stuck in the black hole that is social media, who will run through the intersection regardless of what the traffic light is doing. Obviously, this is a problem, and the bottom line is that we are unpredictable. Even as individuals, we’re smart, and even controlled most of the time, but even then, we can’t always predict what we’re going to do when a moment arises.
Along with the birth of electric cars and artificial intelligence will come a time when we – the creators – are banned from taking control of our own creations
This is a bad thing folks because, once it becomes clear that the only reason car accidents are still occurring is the unpredictability of the human psyche, and our impeccably unreliable reaction time based on our surroundings, we will – without a doubt – be banned from driving. Along with the birth of electric cars and artificial intelligence will come a time when we – the creators – are banned from taking control of our own creations. And, while that may make the roads safer, my friends, it’s certainly not a future I’m looking forward too. Argue or debate all you want – if Chevy can produce evidence that all 13 accidents related to its self-driving Bolts were 100-percent human neglect and error, it’s only a matter of time before that becomes our reality… Is that what you want? Would the world be a better place if humans simply weren’t allowed to drive? Is it too soon give over control or can it not come soon enough? It’s easy to fall on either side of the fence on this one, but I want to know your thoughts. Get at me in the comments section below and fill me in on what the electrical waves in that fleshy meat sack you call a brain are saying to you.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt.
Read more autonomous cars news.