While some Louisiana motorists are excited about the potential for owning self-driving vehicles in the future, others may worry about the possibility of accidents. A recent accident involving a Google self-driving vehicle demonstrates that this potential is real. Prior to the Feb. 14 incident, the company's autonomous vehicles had been involved in a total of 17 car accidents, but none were deemed to be the fault of the Google vehicles. In the February incident, however, the technology was deemed to be responsible.
In preparing to make a right turn, the Google vehicle moved to the right in its lane. However, sand bags in the way caused the SUV to return to the center of its lane to avoid the obstacle. A bus struck the left side of the SUV as it came from behind. The Google vehicle moved at approximately 2 miles per hour at the time of the accident, and the bus traveled at approximately 15 miles per hour. Damage to the SUV was minimal.
Company executives issued a statement noting that this type of automobile accident based on a misunderstanding is a typical scenario facing many drivers. Errors in predicting the movements of other drivers can lead to unanticipated collisions. However, Google intends to make programming adjustments to prevent this type of incident with its cars in the future, understanding that large vehicles such as buses may not yield very easily in such a situation.
An accident investigation typically follows a collision to identify the factors causing the incident and to determine the responsibility for the situation. An injured party might seek damages through a personal injury lawsuit filed with the assistance of an attorney if the responsible driver's motor vehicle insurance company makes a settlement offer that is inadequate.