Legally blind man take self-driving Google car for a spin

Posted on April 2, 2012

Google has a new test driver for its custom-made Prius: a legally blind man. The company best known for its internet search engine is also attempting to perfect a self-driving car. Google’s confidence in its latest experimental vehicle, computer controlled Prius, was so high, they put a man with 95 percent vision loss behind the wheel. In the video footage of the experiment, The car, with no guidance from the legally blind man, backs out of a driveway out onto a street, navigates several turns, stops for traffic signs and signals, and even makes a trip to a restaurant drive through lane. The question that remains unanswered, however, is who is liable for the damage if a self-driving car is involved in a traffic collision, the auto manufacturer or the person behind the wheel? The state of Nevada has passed a bill allowing the use of self-driving automobiles but only when two people are riding inside the vehicle. One of these passengers must in a position to  take the wheel if something goes wrong. Google’s car still needs someone to tell it where to go, and it must have someone inside it at all time to function properly.


As a Ventura car accident lawyer, I would love to see a day when safety technology helps protect us from human errors in traffic, but unfortunately, it appears as though we are several years away from foolproof automobiles. If you or someone you love has been injured in an auto collision, please consider contacting a Long Beach car accident attorney.



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