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Self-driving technology blamed for causing crash

Ohio residents may know that technology giants like Google have joined automakers like Tesla and Volvo in developing self-driving cars and autonomous vehicle systems. Google says that its autonomous test vehicles have logged more than a million test miles on public streets, and up until recently it was able to point proudly to a perfect safety record. The accidents involving Google self-driving cars and SUVs have always been blamed on human error and not autonomous technology, but that all changed in February 2016.

On Feb. 14, an SUV equipped with Google's autonomous technology was struck by a municipal bus not far from the technology giant's Mountain View headquarters. Nobody was hurt in the car collision, and the self-driving SUV was only traveling at about 2 mph at the time of the collision, but the crash has been blamed on the autonomous technology and not the bus driver.

According to a statement released by Google, the autonomous technology realized that the bus was approaching, but it determined that there was sufficient space to pull out as the bus driver would likely slow down. The Google statement indicates that the programming of their self-driving cars will be modified so that courteous behavior is no longer expected from bus drivers.

Widespread adoption of the new technology may make traffic accidents a relic of the past and driving a lost skill. Until then, however, negligent drivers will continue to kill and injure thousands of road users each year, and attorneys will be called upon to seek civil remedies for accident victims by filing lawsuits against the at-fault parties.

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