Alphabet Inc (GOOG)’s Google not Happy With the New Self-Driving Car Regulations

Google self driving car

We have all heard rumors that Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google plans to release a self-driving car, or what tech experts call autonomous cars. Google’s self-driven car chief, Chris Urmson, is not happy with the proposals of the California Department of Motor Vehicles has drafted. According to him, the regulations are misguided as they will restrict the optimum use of the cars.

Chris Urmson aired his views, which are a response to the DMV’s proposal, through a blog post on Thursday. According to Urmson, the proposals drafted by the DMV discredit the regulations that were set in 2012, which allowed the development of occupant-as-passenger cars. The occupant-as-passenger concept means that the vehicle does not have any mode of manual control in the form of steering wheel or pedals.

The new rules that the DMV proposed on Wednesday dictate that such vehicles should have a trained driver in case of any emergency. Google’s autonomous car, which is a two-seater car, does not have a steering wheel or pedals; therefore, the occupant cannot take control. The DMV;s proposed regulations will be debated in 2016 twice before it is voted in or out.

“There is a need for fully autonomous cars,” Urmson said in the post. “Currently, our roads are not free of problems. Our roads are an enemy to productivity in the sense that very many lives are lost due to the mistakes of human drivers. Globally, around 1.2 million people die annually due to human error. Human error causes 95% of accidents on roads.”

Google is the only entity disagreeing with the DMV’s proposals. California Secretary of State, Alex Padilla, is one other party not pleased with the proposals. Padilla drafted the bill that supported the development of fully autonomous vehicles in 2012.

“Autonomous vehicle technology is a blessing in disguise since it will reduce accidents on roads,” Padilla said on Thursday. “I strongly believe that everyone has the moral obligation to promote the deployment of autonomous vehicles. These vehicles should be on our roads already. I drafted this bill, to promote and support the development of autonomous vehicles since they are going to help save lives of people, both young and old.”

The technology of autonomous vehicle has developed rapidly in the past few years. The technology is focused on cameras and radars and the integration of highly detailed maps that give the car accurate data as to where it is. There are few tests remaining.

The psychological effect of being driven by the car rather than the other way round is yet to be tested. The frequency of accidents caused by this technology due to computer error and not a human error is also yet to be tested.