In California tests, self-driving cars still need human help

-ABC NEWS, 12 JANUARY 2016, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

Futuristic self-driving cars traveling along California roads have needed plenty of old-fashioned human intervention to stay safe.

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday released reports filed by seven companies the agency gave permission to test prototype vehicles in public. The documents summarized instances in which a human driver had to take over due to technology problems or other safety concerns.

The reports show wildly different levels of success since on-road testing started in September 2014.

Experts in the technology said Google, whose cars drove the most by far, performed relatively well, though they also cautioned that the testing typically happened during good weather. Other companies reported frequent instances in which the person who is required to be in the front seat — just in case — had to grab the wheel. <Read More>