Let’s go back to Google assuming more responsibility for car crashes. Why would Google be on board with taking on such a big risk? If there are millions of Google cars on the road, that’s a big legal and insurance headache waiting to happen if something goes wrong.
For Google, however, the likely benefits outweigh the costs.
“I suspect Google is okay with this thinking because it considers the likelihood of a Google car causing an accident very, very low,” said Karl Brauer, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book. Indeed, Google’s reports suggest that its accident record is very good, though much of its testing has taken place in sunny, dry climates.
Part of the reason #Google may be unconcerned is its trust in technology. Every second, the cars collect detailed information on the car’s location, its position relative to other objects, places and people, and can assess the local environmental conditions. Not only might this data come in handy for boosting Google’s core business, but it would also be useful in reviewing the critical moments before a crash.
“These Google cars will track everything going on in and around them, with cameras and full vehicle diagnostics,” said Brauer, “which would make blaming them very difficult — unless they really are at fault.”