LOS ANGELES – On Thursday, reports with details of 6 crashes related to self-driving cars were released by the California state officials.
After these reports, a policy was made to protect details of how the next-generation technology is performing while testing self-driving cars on public roads.
The reports showed that more than half of the cars were in self-driving mode when the crashes occurred but no injuries were reported in any crash. The driver of every car as well as other individuals present on the road when the accident occurred were all safe.
Critics were concerned about the refusal of Department of Motor Vehicles to release the reports because according to them, people who will be using these self-driving cars in future should know how they are performing.
According to the executive director of the First Amendment Coalition, Peter Scheer, “The more transparent the government is about self-driving vehicle accidents, the more credibility the government will have when it comes time to decide — yes or no — on whether to OK the sale and licensing of self-driving cars”.
Details associated with self-driving car crashes cannot be made public, referring to the state law in making the crash reports private and the agency refused the request to make the reports public after which the Associated Press said that the privacy requirement of the agency is not correct and it also said that people want to get information about the cars they will be driving in coming years.
AP spokesman Paul Colford said, “Unlocking these records and sharing them with the public are in keeping with AP’s longstanding efforts nationwide to bring about greater transparency in government agencies”.
Since the year 2009, self-driving cars with the name of “Led by Google” are on roads but permission by DMV for testing these cars was given in the month of September and it requires the companies to file crash reports. 8 companies are allowed to test 82 self-driving cars in California, most of which are licensed by Google.
In the month of May, the Associated Press reported that 3 Google crashes took place and 1 Delphi crash.
It was disclosed by Google’s self-driving car project leader Chris Urmson, that 8 other crashes between the years starting from 2010 to 2014 occurred.
It is necessary for the person in California to report any crash to the DMV in which the loss amounts to $750 or more.
According to the agency spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez, DMV officials didn’t know about the crashes before the conference call with Google which was done in the month of April. It was not confirmed by a Google spokeswoman whether the company had filed DMV reports on those 8 crashes and it cannot be said that how much damage happened in those crashes.
There is no report or information in the DMV record that is associated with the crashes given by Google.
On Thursday, DMV released documents in which new details were stated with information of when and where the crashes happened. The documents showed that 5 crashes involved Lexus SUVs in which sensors and cameras were equipped. An Audi was involved in the 6th crash and the location of all the crashes was the Silicon Valley cities of Mountain View or Palo Alto. The crash in which the Delphi car was involved occurred when it was waiting at an intersection.
The mode of Lexus in 4 Google crashes was on self-driving. In one crash, the SUV started braking when its sensors sensed that a 2015 Audi S6 that had run a stop sign and was going to strike; the person who was driving the car took control few seconds before the Audi struck the Lexus from the front right side. Google officials told that almost 5 million accidents happen every year which cause no loss or injury that are not reported to the authorities and added that they are proud of the safety record.
News Source: www.WRAL.com