Google has been campaigning its self-driving Toyota Prius for quite some time now, bragging that the machines have logged hundreds of thousands of miles with only one accident – when they got rear-ended at a light. But now history has been written with reports that Google’s Prius caused its first at-fault accident, ironically rear-ending a newer generation Prius. Perhaps Google’s Prius was a little jealous of its newer, hipper, third-generation counterpart?
The accident raises all the important questions of who is really at fault if the vehicle is driving itself. As it stands, whoever is behind the wheel this time around would be at fault and Google is claiming that the accident wasn’t caused by its self-driving technology but rather the driver behind the wheel. It’ll be hard for anyone to ever prove that a human being wasn’t driving the car at the time of the accident, but this is certainly more ammo for all those that are against autonomous cars.
While we know no technology in this world is perfect, Google is hoping that one day their autonomous vehicles will become commonplace in the world. Whether or not it’ll really be safer than human drivers will always be a question and how fault will be determined in an accident remains to be seen.