Until today, the very meaning of driverless cars meant that perhaps there wouldn’t be any steering wheels in this car since there wasn’t any need for a driver. But recently, these driverless cars made by Google have been forced to incorporate a steering wheel as a precautionary measure for situations where a software mishap can happen.
And perhaps there isn’t anything wrong on this imposition and the very fact that Google had no interest in incorporating steering wheels wasn’t an intelligent choice in the first place. A new directive from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on testing autonomous cars states that drivers need to be able to take “immediate physical control” of the car if needed. Now the search giant will have to fit its fleet of cars with manual controls before they can be taken on public roads
“With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features, while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary,” Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne told the newspaper
Dmitri Dolgov, the autonomous car project’s lead software engineer, told Reuters during a recent test drive that it would be safer for Google’s cars to keep up with traffic when it was slightly exceeding the speed limit than to rigidly stick to it and cause an obstruction.
However, there is a strong conflict in logic that is hampering the release of these driverless cars. Say should an accident occur in road between two cars, or should a car be caught back for over speeding. Then who exactly is liable to be fined? The Driver (mind you there isn’t any driver in the first place)? The passenger (makes no sense in terms of law and logic)? Or Google (they’d be in huge mess should many cars are fined for such incidents)?
These are such issues which needs a bit more attention now.
But for now, only a 100 cars are being sold which have a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour, to take care of the over speeding issue. However, limiting the speed to 25 isn’t really an intelligent solution as there may be times when the speed of the car does need to be increased (in cases of emergencies which may be medical or other type in nature)
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