Self-Driving Cars May Fail in Iran

Self-Driving Cars May Fail in IranSelf-Driving Cars May Fail in Iran

Google said on Monday that even when the self-driving cars can sense and react faster than humans, they still end up in accidents.

“We’ve been hit from behind seven times, mainly at traffic lights but also on the freeway,” Chris Urmson, the head of Google’s autonomous car program, said in an online post. The “auto-car” head also said that they’ve also been “side-swiped” a couple of times and hit by another car rolling through a stop sign.

Google self-driving cars, of which there are now more than 20, have been in 11 minor accidents in the six years since the project began but they didn’t cause any of the crashes, according to Urmson.

Google says its self-driving cars, which have “safety drivers” at the wheel to take over when deemed appropriate, have logged some 1.7 million miles.

As much as their vehicle program professes that their thousands of hours give them a good sense of roads, the PR campaign shows the company hasn’t dared to venture out of the tame driving arena of the United States.

It isn’t only the US getting in on the action. In 2013 Nissan carried out Japan’s first public road test of an autonomous vehicle.

And in Europe, the Swedish city of Gothenburg has given Volvo permission to test 100 driverless cars – although the trial is not scheduled to occur until 2017.

Britain is also funding an initiative to allow the cars on limited trail across the roads of the UK. The trials of driverless cars in that country will list anywhere between 18-36 months, with the finds reported back to parliament.


  Government Policy

The Rohauni administration in Iran has not yet said it is interested in this growing auto sector. Iran Khodro and Saipa also haven’t talked about the topic. This could be primarily due the fact technology is out of reach, due to sanctions, and will only be feasible when the two large auto giants sign new contracts with foreign counterparts to use their technology.

  Driver Safety in Iran

Americans are statistically safer drivers than those who get behind the wheel in Iran. Even with their safer driving, American car owners have been caught unawares on multiple occasions.

If one takes the American example and increases the severity and rate of accidents, then a potential figure may emerge about the unforeseen impacts of autonomous vehicles in Iran.

To understand what would happen in a situation of the Google car driving around Tehran’s streets, one has to understand the current rate of accidents, how people drive and what the major cause of mishaps are.

On May 3, reports unveiled that in the past Iranian year 49,866 people were either killed or severely injured in road collisions around the country. In 5,364 cases 6,916 citizens were killed at the scene of the accident.

The region that attained pole position in accidents was Iran’s northern province of Gilan. Isfahan, Khorasan Razavi, and East Azarbaijan followed with a high number of crashes.

Tehran has more than its fair share of accidents—many of them are not reported—and that number is increasing every year as more cars add to the already overloaded roads. Many of accidents in the city are caused by motorcycles. The bike riders—a law unto their own—ride on sidewalks, cut across junctions, and are in many cases the reason for mishaps on the streets.

Hypothetically speaking, if the Google car were to drive on the streets of Iran, then some serious questions must be asked. The very idea of an autonomous car on the roads of Tehran could increase the instances of reckless driving. Without a driver behind the wheel, those on bikes may feel that road rules have become redundant.

Another issue for the self-driving car in Iran is legislation. There remains no effort by the government to look into how these cars would work in this environment.

Insurance companies would also face new hurdles, insofar as who would be to blame.

If a Google car was involved was in an accident, what would happen? Would the autonomous vehicle get the blame for the accident?

Answers to the many questions remain hypothetical and not even the US has given the go-ahead for the full distribution of autonomous vehicles.

Whatever happens in America, the advent of self-driving cars on the streets of Iran will surely do more to reduce road fatalities than any administration has managed to do in the history of the country.