Google Cars: Safe or Not?

Diego Luna | Business Editor | The USD Vista | @diegotothemoon

Google wants to make their self-driving cars drive like humans. While I applaud Google for their innovation, as a commuter student, it makes me wonder if this new feature is safe?

Intuitively, it doesn’t appear to be a safe idea. Some drivers are easily distracted as is, so why would you try to mimic human drivers?

Google’s driverless car has driven over one million miles and had a total of 16 accidents. Google claims that the only time the Google car has been at fault for an accident was when a human was driving the car.

Senior Eric Dunham is an information science major. He agrees that artificial intelligence belongs in the future.

“Artificial Intelligence is the future of cars, this  A.I. technology is being implemented in hospitals and many other places,” Dunham said. “Google should keep banking on the fact that it’s a safe car, not that they’re making cars mimic human driving habits.”

What exactly are these human-like habits that Google is implementing on their cars? A new algorithm allows the car to maneuver around parked cars, cross double-yellow lines, make turns closer to curbs, and cut corners earlier than ever before.

I’m wondering if these new features will aid Google’s attempt in entering the automobile industry, or if it will hurt it. Google’s cars were meant to be timid and careful vehicles. Google designed the cars to detect driving anomalies much before the average human.

Although I agree that we need a safe and reliable way to commute, I am of two minds. First, Google is trying to advance the driving experience by making driverless cars using artificial intelligence. On the other hand, I believe Google is not advancing because they’re trying to humanize the artificial intelligence it sounds like Google is instead taking a step backwards.

I commute from Sorrento Valley every day and I have concerns about this issue. People are far from being perfect drivers,  and even if they were, it’s impossible to control other people’s driving habits.

I’m not saying that I’m a better driver than the Google car. However, I am saying that many of us commuters and drivers in general are concerned that driverless cars will be just as reckless as human drivers.

I think Google should just keep their car as safe as possible and not so abrupt and intrusive. Google should make sure their car  does not reflect all the qualities of the imperfect human driver.