Google says its self-driving cars have been in more accidents than recently reported, but the cars were not at fault in any. A report by the Associated Press said Google’s self-driving cars were involved in four accidents since last September. But according to the company, the cars were actually involved in a total of 11 accidents–all of which were minor. What’s more, Google says the accidents were the fault of driver error on the part of the humans operating the other vehicles, not the autonomous vehicle mechanisms.
According to The Verge, seven of the accidents involved another vehicle rear-ending Google’s car, two were side-swipes, and a car running a red light caused another. The defense of its cars comes via a post published on Backchannel, and posits that Google’s sensors and algorithms make the cars better drivers than humans. The company says the cars are much less prone to errors and the errors by ever-fallible human drivers are feeding the algorithms and making the computers better and even safer drivers.
Despite this vigorous defense of its technology, according to the Associated Press, Google hasn’t made any of the records from the accidents public; a move that troubles critics. Consumer Watchdog privacy project director, John Simpson told AP that since the self-driving cars don’t have steering wheels or pedals that would allow a human to take control if the they go out of control, it’s “even more important that the details of any accidents be made public – so people know what the heck’s going on.”