Google Car Loses Its Cherry: The Movie


Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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8 Responses

  1. Avatar Doctor Jay says:

    Well, this is pretty much the picture I had in my head from reading the accident report. But it doesn’t make much sense. But the ridealong human’s remark that he thought the bus would stop for them doesn’t make much sense either.

    For other accidents, Google has produced a video that shows the cars picture of its surroundings at the time of the accident. I would like to see that.

    It might be that they thought not that the bus would stop, but that it would move over enough for them to have room in the lane.

    But this is merely technical interest, the car is clearly at fault here. I just don’t understand how the machine, which should have no lapses in vigilance, could have done that.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      I’ve a theory to offer: Googlecar interpreted the bus as a regular car. So it timed its pull-out from the other lane to begin when it thought the car was past — only it wasn’t a car, it was a bus.

      Perhaps this was caused by the color of the bus, the angle of the sun, or something else that made Googlecar think that the vehicle it sense was a passenger car of standard length rather than a bus.Report

      • Avatar El Muneco says:

        It looks like it hit right near one of the doors – maybe it thought the bus was two cars, and it was slipping in between?Report

      • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

        I thought about that, but all the PR stuff from Google has talked about expecting the bus to stop to let the car in. On the other hand, the point in my final paragraph is perhaps the most salient. When the Google Car finally caused an accident, Google went into weasel bullshit mode rather than simply fessing up.Report

  2. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Unlike your jurisdiction, @richard-hershberger, California is a pure comparative liability state. But that’s a moot point here, because your assessment of liability is plainly correct from the video evidence: Googlecar is 100% liable.Report