(image via Electrek.co)

Depends on the human, amirite?

Once the realm of futurists, driverless cars are now on par with humans and often doing better according to recent data presented at robotics conference in Santa Clara, California by Chris Urmson, leader of Google’s autonomous-car project. The claims emanate from two studies of data from the hundreds of thousands of miles Google’s vehicles have logged on public roads in California and Nevada.

“We’re spending less time in near-collision states,” claimed Urmson. “Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”

There’s a lot more at MIT Technology Review on the data and its implications.

The inevitable uptake of driverless cars by consumers will be interesting to watch with other vehicle visionaries like Tesla CEO Elon Musk advocating for a stepped “Auto-Pilot” type of rollout where 90% of driving is autonomous with the last 10% done by the driver.

The two views aren’t mutually exclusive because of Google’s override capability which is similar to how Airplane pilots operate auto-pilot.