Google released a 32-page report last month containing data during 15 months of testing their fleet of self-driving cars on California’s public roads, which showed that there have been 272 situations where the Google car disengaged from its autonomous drive mode and immediately turned control of the car over to the Google employee driving it. In total there were 13 instances that would have resulted in a crash left up to the automated driving software.Google leads the way in terms of their search engine, advertising and pay per click advertising, but this recent data undermines their recent foray into building cars without manual controls. Fortunately all the near-misses recorded in the new report resulted in a safe outcome, but only thanks to the human driver intervention in each case, which surely discredits the premise of the experiment.Chris Urmson, the Director of Google Self-Driving Cars stated that “software detected an anomaly in the system somewhere that could have had possible safety implications, and in these cases it immediately handed control of the car to the test driver.”The 32-page report released in January says that during 15 months of tests:
Google’s vehicles drove 424,331 miles without manual control.
In 72 instances, the car’s software registered a “failure” that resulted in emergency control being given to the manual driver.
In a further 69 cases, the driver took control without being alerted by the system because they anticipated an accident themselves.
Computer simulations designed to replicate each incident found that in 13 of the cases where drivers intervened, a crash would have occurred if they had failed to do so.
There is no way of knowing how many of those incidents might have ended in a serious collision where someone could have been hurt or killed.The question is, should Google continue to develop this kind of technology, or will it go the same way as Google Glass? Google insist that these cars are “safer than humans”, which may be true on average, but without the necessary data we can’t make that comparison. If the experiment was repeated with human drivers instead of Google software, perhaps we would have seen a higher number of near-misses or actual accidents. All we know for sure is that in these cases, the human knew better than the car.Many think that driver-less cars will be beneficial to the economy, which is an interesting point. The idea is that our working lives will be made more efficient since we won’t have to concentrate on driving, which takes up valuable time we could spend working! We should also be less tired when we get to work since we didn’t have to concentrate on the road. Except, of course, that if Google’s test drivers took this attitude, 11 of them would have crashed.In any case, the safety of this new mode of transport needs to be tested much more rigorously given these results. It does serve as a reminder, though, of Google’s continuous push towards a future where automated software understands the human brain better than we do ourselves, a trend we’re also seeing in search engine technology. What do you think about Google’s plans – are they pushing the limits too far too fast, or do we need that attitude to make progress?
We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings.
You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left hand side.
Strictly Necessary Cookies
Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings.
If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again.
This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information such as the number of visitors to the site, and the most popular pages.
Keeping this cookie enabled helps us to improve our website.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!
This website uses the following additional cookies:
HotJar Helps us track activities on the website to improve targeting. Does not collect any personal data.
Please enable Strictly Necessary Cookies first so that we can save your preferences!
Easy Internet Services Ltd is committed to respecting privacy of customers and users of the our websites. We have developed this policy because we want you to feel confident about the privacy and security of your personal information.
Who we are
Easy Internet Services is registered under the Data Protection Act in the United Kingdom as a Data Controller (registration number 4110571) and takes all reasonable care to prevent any unauthorised access to your personal information.
Personal Information Collection
Non-personally identifying information
We may also collect information on how users interact with our websites by using cookies and log files which may include your Internet Protocol (IP), browser “user-agent”, pages viewed and other activities similar activities.
If cookies aren’t enabled on your computer, it will mean that your shopping experience on our website will be limited to browsing and researching; you won’t be able to add products to your basket and buy them.
The list of Cookies that are currently running on our website(s): – Google Analytics – Google AdWords – Social Media Share Buttons by ShareThis.com and AddThis.com How will we use the information
Easy Internet Services Ltd may use the personally identifiable information collected to contact customers regarding products and services offered by the group of companies and, as necessary to provide the products and services to the customer, our suppliers, contractors and partners. We may also use information provided for research, marketing, advertising, sales and statistical analysis. We will not in any way share this information with a third party for free or by selling it outside the Easy Internet Group of companies, unless you specifically authorise such disclosures. We will also use your information for processing your order(s) and managing and administering your account, delivering any services products or information requested by you, responding to enquiries or complaints, verifying your identity and for administering debt recoveries.
Easy Internet Services Ltd may also disclose aggregate, anonymous, data based on information collected from Users to investors and potential partners. In such cases, statistical information only will be disclosed and personally identifiable data will be kept strictly confidential. If Easy Internet Services Ltd or a brand name is sold to a third party as a whole, the information collected from users may be transferred to the new owners.
We may also collect and use other information for internal purposes – for example, contact with our technical support or sales departments, accesses to your account and any reported violations of our terms and conditions that you or someone on your account may have committed. This is to help us fit the service to your individual needs, to help us diagnose problems you may be having and for system security.
Disclosure of information to others
We may disclose information about you, your account to companies operated by Easy Internet Holdings Ltd, in the event we undergo re-organisation or are sold to a third party or, as necessary, to our suppliers for them to be able to supply certain items to you (such as domain name registrations). We do not sell or pass your personal information to third parties (other than as already stated) unless you have given us permission or unless it is necessary to delivery the products and services ordered or used by you. Easy Internet Services Ltd may also be obliged to disclose your personal information to meet any legal or regulatory requirements or obligations in accordance with applicable law.
On occasions, it is necessary to send out service related announcements, such as maintenance and upgrade warnings. Users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account.
Length of data retention and Data Maintenance
The time period for which we keep information varies according to what the information is used for. In some cases, there are legal requirements to keep data for a minimum period. Unless there is a specific legal requirement for us to keep the information, we will retain it for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data was collected or for which it is to be further processed.
The data may be stored on one or more databases directly or indirectly maintained by Easy Internet Services. We employ industry standard security measures to protect the confidentiality of the information, but whilst we cannot guarantee that any loss, misuse or alteration of data will not occur, every effort is made to prevent such occurrences. Any particularly sensitive information (such as credit card details) is encrypted prior to transmission to us and will only be stored in encrypted systems.
Access to your information
If you wish to find out what personal information Easy Internet Services Ltd holds about you, please tell us and give us any relevant information (such as your full name, address and internet domain names) to enable us to locate the information about you because this will speed up our reply. We may be able to provide the specific information you want without you having to make a formal request. You can make a formal request if you want to know what personal information we hold about you. In this case, please put your request in writing and send it to us enclosing a cheque for the administration fee of ten pounds sterling made payable to Easy Internet Services Ltd and sent to: The Data Controller, Easy Internet Services Ltd, Unit D, Edward House, Grange Business Park, Whetstone, Leicester, LE8 6EP.
Please be aware that communications over the Internet, such as emails/webmails, are not secure unless they have been encrypted. Your communications may route through a number of countries before being delivered – this is the nature of the World Wide Web/Internet. We cannot accept responsibility for any unauthorised access or loss of personal information that is beyond our control.
Transferring your information outside the EEA
It may sometimes be necessary to transfer your personal information to companies located in countries outside of the European Economic Area. This may happen when our servers, suppliers or service providers are based outside the EEA. The data protection and other laws of these countries may not be as comprehensive as those in the UK or the EU – in these instances we will take steps to ensure that your privacy rights are respected.
If the information we hold about you is inaccurate, please let us know and we will make the necessary amendments and confirm that these have been made. If any of your information changes, it is your responsibility to notify us about the change as soon as possible. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that all usernames and passwords issued to you are kept safe and secure.
Monitoring/Recording of communications
We may monitor or record your calls, emails, text messages and other communications that may take place in accordance with UK law, and in particular for business purposes, such as for quality control and training, to prevent unauthorised use of our systems, to ensure effective systems operation and in order to prevent or detect crime.