Town Square

Post a New Topic

Self-driving car involved in injury crash

Original post made on Jul 17, 2015

Google officials on Thursday reported a Mountain View crash involving one of the company's self-driving car prototypes. But this collision -- the company's 14th to date -- is drawing extra attention after media sources reported it as the first collision to cause injuries.


Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 17, 2015, 6:36 PM

Comments (48)

Posted by helloworld
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2015 at 7:28 pm

at the forum ,the video shows how the car sees the road , not how the road is . so i think that there is a bit bias of the view that is offered .
its hard to believe that there was not a set of cameras of normal view on the car .


Posted by Norm Or Outlier
a resident of another community
on Jul 17, 2015 at 7:38 pm

Would be interesting if there were data in the article about the frequency of crashes as compared to crashes involving non-driverless vehicles. Could help clarify concerns about the behavior of driverless cars one way or the other.


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 17, 2015 at 7:48 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

One BIG question: Did the vehicle have LOCKED BRAKES when it was stopped at the intersection? Google might want to check out the rules for AGV's first.
When I was working with the AGV's at Apogee Robotics, there was a lot of regulations that we had to meet before we could install them offices to factory floors.
These regulations REQUIRED MANDATORY LOCKED BRAKES WHEN THE AGV WAS STOPPED!
Since this new technology was being used then, we had to install stop switches on each side except the front: We had a special flexible bumper that locked the brake and switched off the power when touched. ANY TOUCH! That brake was designed to stop the AGV before it could touch the front of the AGV. That meant a slow top speed ( less than a normal walking speed ) to satisfy OSHA regulations. If a side switch ( kick switch ) was activated, the AGV would slow down and stop, LOCKING THAT BRAKE.
I see the same set of software commands are given in the store handicapped scooters. Click-->move forward--slow down-->stop-->click. Yes, that is the way our AGV's were programmed to move. Touch the front bumper, power is cut off to the brake and motor IMMEDIATELY!
I think GOOGLE might need to review OSHA rules for AGV's, like we had to do. Locked brakes on a stopped situation is a requirement Apogee had to meet. Maybe Google AGVs have to meet those requirements too.


Posted by Gregory Nelson
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 17, 2015 at 8:14 pm

Self-driving vehicles are an accident waiting to happen - now proven.
Google, with their arrogant attitude that they've 'bought' Mountain View, think their vehicles, mapping, Street View and 'self-driivng' vehicles have carte blanche to do whatever they want on MV streets.
Stand Up MV residents - tell your City Council to get Google vehicles off our streets our streets - b/f they kill one of us.


Posted by @Gregory Nelson
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 17, 2015 at 8:27 pm

Right, Greg -- let's leave the roads to regular cars, and let them kill us all instead.

Seriously -- stop being so paranoid about the Google vehicles.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 17, 2015 at 10:13 pm

Google should be allowed to keep testing and developing its self- driving cars IN ITS OWN PARKING LOTS. How much money did Google slip to legislators to use public streets and risk the lives and health of members of the public for its product development? First, someone proclaims that "corporations are people too" and then someone announces that robots are people too and people with flesh just go along like SHEEP. Baaad.


Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:42 pm

How to tell that the computer is driving the car:
1. The car never exceeds the speed limit.
2.The car never nudges into traffic if traffic is doing ambiguous things (like rolling stops, jaywalking, etc.)
3. The car always signals the turns ( signal indicators).
4. The car is never aggressively taking the right of way.
5. The car always waits for idiots to finish their stupid driving...


Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:44 pm

It seems to be the bad human drivers that collide with these cars. Are these people not looking where they are driving or something?


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 18, 2015 at 2:32 am

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Yes, we used our parking lot to test our AGVs before shipping them off to our customers. Then only worked on our AGVs on weekends setting them out to make sure the guidance system and safety measures worked per OSHA specifications.


Posted by Craig T. Nelson
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 18, 2015 at 3:43 am

Posted by Gregory Nelson:
"Self-driving vehicles are an accident waiting to happen - now proven."

Hey Gregory - is your reading comprehension that bad? The self-driving vehicle was sitting at an intersection, stopped, when a car with a human driver rear-ended it.

Get off the dugs, man.


Posted by Driver hit the driverless
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jul 18, 2015 at 7:00 am

This re-affirms the idea that the real danger on the road are not cars, but the people who control them. It's a shining beacon on the poor performance by human drivers.


Posted by Parent
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2015 at 8:02 am

@Me (Willowgate):

"It seems to be the bad human drivers that collide with these cars. Are these people not looking where they are driving or something?"

That appears to be the case.

Do you get out of the house? Have you noticed distracted drivers on the roadways yourself, or is this the first time you've heard of it?


Posted by Monta Loma resident
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jul 18, 2015 at 10:06 am

@Gregory Nelson ... so a human driven car rear ends a self driving car- and its Google's fault? Get off your tin foil hat! Maybe you'd prefer these stats instead - over 30,000 people killed in automobile accidents each year, about to a hundred *each day* (source Web Link Compare that with over a million miles driven by self driving cars, with a *zero* accidents caused by the car (discounting the ones caused by human errors).

Not a Google employee, but a big fan of their self driving car project...


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 18, 2015 at 10:20 am

True is a registered user.

I never cease to be amazed by the new and creative ways people find to abandon anything related to logic in criticism of Google.

The accidents that the SDC's have been involved in are overwhelmingly the fault of Mountain View HUMAN drivers, not of the Google SDC's.

Web Link

I have zero personal interest in owning a SDC at some point in the future because I enjoy driving (even amongst the buffoons on the roads around here) but the technology does have a lot of merit. It seems many of those who we share the roads with would be better off if they had a robot doing the driving for them...and we'd all be safer if they did.


Posted by Driverless cars not so bright!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 18, 2015 at 11:46 am

This accident doesn't surprise me at all. A little less than 1 week ago I was driving to the Recycling Center on Terra Bella Ave in Mountain View with a self-driving Google car in front of me when all of a sudden the car slammed on it's brakes for NO REASON! Luckily I was paying attention and had left enough space between me and the car so I was able to stop in time.

There was a large truck pulling out of a driveway on the OTHER side of the street, turning right into THE OTHER LANE (not our lane) and apparently that was enough to make the driverless car think it was going to be hit and completely over-react (in reality the truck was easily 4 feet from the car, not close to hitting it at all).

I have a perfect driving record and have never caused an accident in my 20+ years of driving yet even I came incredibly close to hitting this car from behind. These cars do not drive like normal human drivers yet, they are not yet able to correctly assess a threat.

I'm not against the project, I look forward to not having to drive myself one day, but Google needs to take more precautions by warning people to keep their distance and to expect the unexpected with these cars. Maybe a sign on the back of the car warning people to leave extra room would help (like many trucks do now). The system is still very unpredictable.


Posted by @Lucky driver
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2015 at 1:31 pm

This poster wrote "Luckily I was paying attention and had left enough space between me and the car so I was able to stop in time. "

Why is this LUCKY??? You mean that normally you don't pay attention or leave enough space???? It sounds like you need to go to drivers school yourself! It's important to pay attention and stop tailgating. Do this all the time and we won't have to worry about your luck!


Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2015 at 2:14 pm

1. Note that this thread has 10-20 times the View count normal for a popular topic with this number of comments, and it promptly attracted posts from "other communities." That suggests it was picked up and linked to elsewhere, amid all the "driverless car crash" publicity.

2. "Driverless cars not so bright" wrote: "... a self-driving Google car in front of me [suddenly] slammed on it's brakes for NO REASON! ... There was a large truck pulling out of a driveway on the OTHER side of the street, turning right into THE OTHER LANE (not our lane) and apparently that was enough to make the driverless car think it was going to be hit and completely over-react."

That's very typical of complaints about these cars' driving style. I'd summarize it in one word: timidity. But you must have noticed that similar faults of unjustified overcaution (and sudden braking, not always checking for traffic behind!) occur with some human drivers too in silicon valley. I'm told (by people from there) that certain overseas cultures foster such driving habits, especially with drivers who start much older than is typical in the US.


Posted by Reader
a resident of another community
on Jul 18, 2015 at 3:01 pm

"1. Note that this thread has 10-20 times the View count normal for a popular topic with this number of comments, and it promptly attracted posts from "other communities." That suggests it was picked up and linked to elsewhere, amid all the "driverless car crash" publicity."

No, not necessarily.

Embarcadero Media runs Mountain View Voice, Palo Alto Online and The Almanac. The article was posted systemwide.

If you view the article from Palo Alto Online or The Almanac and you post a comment, the comment shows that it is from someone from another community. Only if you view and comment from mv-voice.com do commenters get their Mountain View neighborhood associated with their comment.

Of course, there's always the possibility of actual Mountain View commenters replying to the post, but claiming that they live in another community (perhaps for privacy or security purposes).

It is unwise to just the comments based on the alleged location of the commenter. Most people comment here anonymously and the number of comments do not reflect a statistically significant sample size regardless.


Posted by Also a Reader
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm

As an engineer and as a driver who has been driving > 40 years, and has taken defensive driving classes, I think there are several important points about this article and the comments for it:

1- Google is doing a tremendous job automating a skill that is quite complex. Try to remember the first time you drove a car in traffic and how utterly overwhelming it probably was.

2- Humans learn and adapt their "every day" driving skills based on commonly "accepted" driving behavior. An automatically driven car won't do the following (especially given the deep pockets of Google and a litigious society):
a- Google cars won't make a sliding stop.
b- Google cars won't be predictable based on our human driving experiences... especially because we are not familiar with how the car is programmed to respond in different situations. Therefore.... KEEP YOUR DISTANCE.
c- Google cars won't navigate a 4 way stop the way humans do.... where the boldest person goes first. I could envision a situation where a Google car waits much, much longer than a human driver because of the humans being impatient with the timing of the automated car. The Google car would probably make many false starts and sudden stops trying to make the safest 4 way stop possible, but then needing to respond to the aggressive drivers on the other sides who don't wait for the required 3 seconds.
d- Google cars won't break the law in any way that can be helped by programming... speeding, following distance, running lights, etc.

3- We all have developed less-than-optimal driving skills based on what drivers' usually do in different situations. For example, "Lucky driver" was driving with his usual attention and following distance because the lane seemed clear and there was no perceived threat. The problem is that the self-driving car's perceived threat is not the same as the human following it.

The answer is simple... Keep your distance and treat the self driving cars the same as you would a teenage driver! They will not react in the same way you'd expect another experienced driver to react. And they WILL follow all of the rules to the letter of the law..... much to they annoyance of most of us.


Posted by Embarrassed
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 18, 2015 at 4:33 pm

On behalf of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, I apologize for Observer's remark: "I'm told (by people from there) that certain overseas cultures foster such driving habits, especially with drivers who start much older than is typical in the US..."

Very few of us in the neighborhood try to blame our community problems on immigrants. The problem is that the few that do damage our reputation. Fortunately, these folks are leaving as they are unable to stay employed in an area whose companies that require skilled employees.

Again, the most humblest apologies for the remarks of our neighbor.


Posted by Driverless cars not so bright!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 18, 2015 at 5:26 pm

@ @Lucky Driver,

"Why is this LUCKY??? You mean that normally you don't pay attention or leave enough space???? It sounds like you need to go to drivers school yourself! It's important to pay attention and stop tailgating. Do this all the time and we won't have to worry about your luck!"

Seriously? Don't be ridiculous. I just told you I've been driving for many years and never had an accident (or ticket, btw). I don't need driving school. I'm a very careful driver, which is why I was able to avoid that accident. I certainly was not tailgating anyone - I would never do that. I was a reasonable distance behind. It is hard, however, to judge sometimes exactly how far away from another car you need to be in every instance while driving. We are human, afterall. I doubt that you keep a perfect distance 100% of the time either.

It is especially hard to predict what is a "safe distance" when the driver in front makes completely foreign and unpredictable moves like braking hard when there's no reason to do so.

I'm only pointing out the potential dangers from my personal experience, and hoping that Google decides to more explicitly ask people to keep their distance. That's all. Why the need to attack me??? I'm trying to help.


Posted by Gary Schroeder
a resident of Rengstorff Park
on Jul 19, 2015 at 12:26 am

I walk 6-9 miles per day in Mountain View. Google cars are VERY polite. Only time I saw them not was an early morning google car going in for repair. It had only one person. It was our good fortune that Ford was allowed to scare horses "way back when". ANASIDE: a Farley Resident 4 years.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2015 at 9:02 am

As a Palo Alto resident, I drive in Mountain View a great deal and see these cars just as much as a Mountain View resident does. I read the Voice as much as I read the PA Weekly because I don't believe in a Berlin Wall between the two communities. Therefore, I feel my comments are justified.

But yes, I did learn to drive (at 17) in a different country where some of the finer points of road etiquette are different. For example, in my country when making a left turn into a two lane street from a one lane turning lane or a one lane street, it is proper to go straight to the right lane after the turn, as the left lane is considered an overtaking lane. So in a situation where a vehicle is turning in front of me, my instincts are that the vehicle will be entering the right or slow lane. I would probably not slam on my brakes, but would still reduce my speed, just in case.

Yes, many drivers here learned to drive in other states as well as other countries. Many drivers are driving rental cars on out of state or out of country licenses.

It would make sense to have international rules all over the world, but unfortunately every country and every state has manicured the driving laws differently. Just because another state or country has decided something different to California, it does not mean that California's rules are better. It just means that it is better to obey the California rules while in California. How many of the readers here are going to read the local drivers' handbook before going on a vacation or business trip to somewhere else?

As for the Google cars, they stand out pretty well. I know that for out of towners they are a curiosity and worthy of a picture or video as a souvenir, but for those of us who come across them on an almost daily basis, do as I do and give them slightly more berth than other vehicles, but respect that they are probably doing a better job of obeying the rules than we are.


Posted by Observer
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2015 at 9:36 am

To "Reader:" No (of course), this story wasn't "necessarily" picked up and linked to elsewhere (amid driverless-car-crash publicity). Yet quite plausibly so, which was my only point.

I'm accustomed (ever since Town Square started several years ago, and Embarcadero tried to recruit me as an early "blogger") to articles that span the three local Embarcadero-paper websites (they're not rare), and to noting their view and comment activity. I merely observed above (for anyone interested -- it's OK if you aren't, or if for some reason don't want to believe this!) that this story's View/Comments ratio of 1000 -- at the time when I wrote above -- is high, by a factor of 10 or so, compared with typical popular stories here (as anyone can confirm that if they pay attention to these patterns routinely). And no (again very obviously), "another community" doesn't preclude the poster being within Embarcadero's scope. However, it is also the attribution you'll routinely see in cases (and they happen periodically) when an Embarcadero online story attracts distant readers who caught it via a Google media watch for the keywords, or because links to it appeared elsewhere.


Posted by bjd
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2015 at 6:09 pm

@Gregory Nelson and friends, please see:

Web Link

Web Link


Posted by DC
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 19, 2015 at 8:12 pm

Yes you are lucky not to hit a Google car, People who illogically stop while driving are known as insurance scammer hoping you will hit them and collect insurance money. We should all install car cam and show how bad Google cars drive at times. They think they drive the speed limit (it's 25 not 15). Everyone passes them during commute times. They wait longer to start moving at red lights that just turned green (making you miss the light) and yes I have seen them stop for no reason and it is luck no one hits them. I would rate their skills at slightly above a senior citizen with poor eye sight and slow reaction.


Posted by AC
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 19, 2015 at 10:18 pm

I completely agree with DC. Google cars are a menace. Did you know that they driver SLOWER than the speed limit?!?! What a horror! DC and I regularly drive well OVER the speed limit, so these law abiding cars are really annoying us.

Even worse, if the google car detects a possible pedestrian, it STOPS or even slows down!! What reasonable driver does that? This law abiding behavior is WILDLY UNPREDICTABLE from an automobile!

Google cars should be made to have flashing lights and have big signs that read:

"Warning: this vehicle may brake for pedestrians. Please stay back at the legal stopping distance for once in your driving life."


Posted by Driverless cars not so bright!
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jul 20, 2015 at 12:26 pm

Some of the comments here are irrationally exaggerated and unproductive. It makes it difficult to have an interesting discussion when people are sarcastic, over-exaggerate and jump to conclusions. I guess this is the level of discussion we can expect from these online forums? I'll probably stop reading the comments going forward as they are not part of a healthy conversation but more of a way for little people to feel good about themselves by picking on others.

AC above is a perfect example. Wishing you a good day and hope you are able to fill the void you clearly have.


Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 20, 2015 at 1:31 pm

"I guess this is the level of discussion we can expect from these online forums?"

Pretty much true for any online forum.


Posted by Steve
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Imagine a world where there is no vehicle fatalities, no war, no killing, no disease... It would be an utter disaster. My point being that on the one hand liberal hippies bemoan the fact that humanity is doing catastrophic damage in an increasingly overpopulated planet, yet on the other hand want to preserve each and every human life forever. The good news is that there is no indication that human behavior is ever going to change, and there are always novel and interesting diseases to kill us off.

P.S. I'm sure someone will soon apologize to the planet and humanity on behalf of the city of Mountain View for my cruel and insensitive remarks.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:14 pm

True is a registered user.

The problem here is the headline. It should read:

"Again? Another inattentive, unskilled Mountain View driver hits Google Driverless Car!"

Quite a week eh?

Mt View driver hits pedestrian.
Mt View driver hits cyclist.
Mountain View driver hits Google car...FOR THE 14TH TIME!!!! 11 from the rear and all the fault of HUMAN Mt View drivers, not the Google cars.

When will someone stop the scourge of Mt View motorists? Some of you need to turn in your cars and buy skateboards or bikes because you appear to be really awful at driving.


Posted by Darin
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Darin is a registered user.

Re: "Of course, there's always the possibility of actual Mountain View commenters replying to the post, but claiming that they live in another community (perhaps for privacy or security purposes)."

And some Mountain View residents live in sections of town that aren't included in any of the defined neighborhoods. The neighborhood map I found shows such non-neighborhood regions north of Monta Loma, surrounding Rex Manor, surrounding Castro City, surrounding St Francis Acres, etc.


Posted by Mark
a resident of Shoreline West
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:09 pm

I detest sharing the road with these things in Mountain View. What the article doesn't include is whether the Google car stopped prematurely at the intersection. Unless the driver behind the Google car was busy texting, it just seems that the Google car stopped prematurely at the light, pausing as if to make up its mind what to do next. There is no other logical explanation. I waited behind one of the Lexus SUV's just last week at a neighborhood stop sign (there was no other traffic to deal with) for about 15 seconds before I honked. It then took the Google car about 10 more seconds to crawl through the deserted intersection. NOW, Google confidently says that their cars have a human to "take control" in an emergency? Google to the Mountain View town council: "Oopsie! Our human took control too late! The pedestrian is dead. But hey now, the car is perfect. And, the driver will be retrained. So, are we done here? Are we cool now?" ... Mountain View town council: "Oh sure. We're cool now. Thanks for dropping by." ... Google is covering their butts with both hands - they can blame collisions and injuries on either the computer OR the human, whichever will get the least amount of negative feedback. BUT, when someone is finally killed, Google will surely blame the computer system which will minimize their financial liability. Google OWNS Mountain View AND its town council if you haven't noticed.


Posted by True
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:25 pm

True is a registered user.

@Mark

Facts don't appear to matter much to you but you should read this anyway.

Web Link


Posted by @True
a resident of Waverly Park
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:39 pm

The Google self-driving vehicle critics, interested in actual facts? Are you kidding me?

There are legitimate reasons to take Google to task. This is not one of those reasons.


Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 20, 2015 at 5:48 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Sigh.

The real problem with sensor inputs is the " fail safe " programming required to make the vehicle ( in our case ) OSHA compliant. To have a proper " reaction time " at these speeds makes the computer system overreact on the side of caution. To stop an AGV required a much lowered speed to keep it within the limits OSHA required for a " reaction time " for an AGV. We could make a vehicle do 12 MPH ( in our parking lot on a weekend ) but it would never meet OSHA's safety requirements.
That " overreaction " points out the same problem still not solved by AGV software design; How safe is too safe. A human will see that truck moving out is safe ( a human uses judgement ) while robot sensors cannot judge if other movement around the AGV is safe. Trying to get an AVG to stop properly actually damaged a special ( and heavy )set of double doors because the robot openers could not open them fast enough for the waiting robot " opening " them. Methinks that Google should properly create a test track before actually placing these next generation AGVs around humans; the programming is not ready for prime time yet and all the bugs are not worked out. Putting out Beta Test software has worked for Bill Gates; we do not need a human fatality to fix software/hardware problems.

TO GOOGLE: Most Engineers have Ethics involved before they release a new design. You should not be testing these AGVs where people might get killed by an " Oops, that should not have happened " in your project. We didn't and you shouldn't either.


Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 20, 2015 at 6:13 pm

From the pictures, it looks to me like the Google car was stopped behind another car at the intersection.


Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 20, 2015 at 8:18 pm

based on information from other sources:

car #1 stopped because the other side of the intersection was backed up (imagine that, a driver not blocking the box!)
car #2 stopped behind #1
car #3 (the google car) stopped behind #2
car #4 didn't respond to 3 cars ahead being stopped and rammed into car #3


Posted by Unhinged nutter
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 20, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Based on the above, the problem clearly lies with the Google driverless car.


Posted by Shannon
a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on Jul 21, 2015 at 3:03 pm

I live close enough to have heard the crash from this incident... One curious note that hasn't been reported is that after the crash, the Google car immediately turned right onto Martens and drove to the 2nd house down the street before stopping, well out of view of passers-by on Grant. THEN the Google employees got out and walked back to the scene of the accident. I thought that was a little odd, particularly if any of those in the car felt they might have been injured. It'd be great to get an explanation of what the Google cars are programmed to do after being rear-ended... And this is far from the first time they've been rear-ended.


Posted by B Minkin
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm

If the time comes when a self driving car doed cause a problem, there will be a good opportunity to complain and blame Google. This collision is not one that merits legitimate complaints.


Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jul 21, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Can you find the inexperienced maneuver by Google car?

Web Link

as Priscilla said the car is learning. It may not be incorrect but it can be done better and safer for everyone.


Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

Moving out of traffic is the proper action. Don't want to get rear-ended by a driver not paying attention ....
-------------------------------------------------
If you are involved in a collision:

- Move your vehicle out of the traffic lane if no one is injured or killed.
-------------------------------------------------




Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jul 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

When the automobile finally arrived in the US, the laws concerning speed and vehicle warnings was..somewhat limiting: 8 MPH downtown...12~15 MPH in the country. Sending out a warning by bell or horn was optional and only horse drawn vehicles were excepted.

Fast forward to AGV LAW. Like new train laws in effect NOW, an AGV must flash lights and sound a LOUD signal before any movement. Shop floor AGVs had a LOUD horn and flashing strobe lights, Office and prison AGVs have a quieter bell sound and flashing lights before forward motion was allowed. The lights were on the front and back of the vehicle. 1/2 second cycle time ( one second on/off cycle ) repeated 5 TIMES before any AGV movement.
That satisfied OSHA requirements for an AGV. Our AGVs never hit or hurt anyone and AFAIK, we never had a liability suit over any AGV operations.
Hey, RTD LIGHT RAIL also does a flashing light and horn sound before it moves, BNSF trains do the same thing, so why not GOOGLE AGVs? You could reduce your liability in the event of an injury or death ( or " Oops, that should not have happened due to AI or programming error ) " incident ".

I still think a separate test track is a good idea, 95% of errors can be fixed with no harm to anyone that way.


Posted by Bob
a resident of North Whisman
on Jul 25, 2015 at 9:47 am

Google video Web Link
I see
1) Shows the car changes lane for construction site too late. Did not read the signs of a lane closure and waited till the last opportunity to change lanes, which is a CAL Tran violation of "give them a lane for safety".
2) The car could not navigate past a double parked car and slowed to 5 mph to pass while other around were able to pass at 20 mph. Happens at bus stops too for lots of drivers.
3)The car actually stopped before a rail road track for 10 seconds and waited until the cars had cleared the area. The car cannot predict traffic movement and did not sense no train in the area. Potential rear end accident due to this unexpected driving maneuver
4) The most disturbing is the car slow to 15 mph around the cyclist. The cyclist is tempted to change lanes and seems confused but decides it is not safe and returns back to the bile lane (smart). The car is now traveling 5 mph and has placed both in danger of being hit by other cars. A car in the left turn lane would not see the bike changing lanes.


Posted by Me
a resident of Willowgate
on Jul 25, 2015 at 11:07 pm

the train tracks were handled exactly the way they should be handled. You should never stop on the tracks.


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of another community
on Jul 26, 2015 at 9:07 am

One thing that bothers me about the Google and other self driving technology is what happens when the car crosses state lines and rules change? Does the or will the programming be automatically changed?

I have said many times that driving laws should be universal, with exceptions of driving on left/right, etc., so that we can safely drive wherever in the world we may land. Roundabouts v 4 way stops, yielding to pedestrians/pedestrians yield to road traffic, etc. are complete opposites and there are other less obvious ones too. Driving in other countries, it is abundantly clear that internationally driving has to change and quite often in more ways than one visiting drivers are unaware of the nuances of local laws.


Posted by MV Resident
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Jul 27, 2015 at 1:30 pm

PA Resident, you are aware this is a trial period and not the final product, right? Yes, there's also likely a lot more issues you have not thought about (but Google has) that also will be something to consider prior to a full release, which would likely be years away.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed.

Get the day's top headlines from Mountain View Online sent to your inbox in the Express newsletter.

Is California engaging in wishful thinking or rigorous planning?
By Sherry Listgarten | 12 comments | 5,871 views

New Austrian cuisine: Naschmarkt to replace Anatolian Kitchen in Palo Alto
By The Peninsula Foodist | 3 comments | 3,561 views

Please prioritize saving Palo Alto's emptying downtown
By Diana Diamond | 13 comments | 1,718 views

Holiday Hoopla in the City
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 1,069 views

“Attached.” by Amir Levine, MD, and Rachel S.F. Heller, MA
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,023 views