Misleading articles about Google’s Cars

Earlier this morning I came across an article by an online Indian news agency. The article was a piece on Google’s self driving cars and that Google submitted a report to California Department of Motor Vehicles about their self-driving cars being involved in accidents, as is the protocol of Google’s experiments.

The article was based on a blog post published by the director of Google’s self-driving cars program, Chris Urmson: Read Here

What was strange about the news agency’s article was the misleading headline and biased presentation of information, seemingly arising from ignorance of technology and how things work in product development. I urge you to read this article at length.

As the article quotes, while google’s self driving cars may have been involved in 11 accidents, the content seems to take a critical stand rather than an objective one. The news is not that the cars have had accident but that Google is learning a lot from its test drives and experiments, to develop the product and make it better than manual driven cars. And 11 accidents over 1.7 million miles is a much safer track record than normal humans. Numbers aside, given google’s history, I do not think Google is ever going to release a product that is half baked.

To quote the article:

“This lack of transparency troubles critics who want the public to be able to monitor the roll-out of a technology…”

Says who? This statement is both naive and seems like a poor attempt to induce paranoia about the technology and the company developing it.

A more mature statement to make would’ve been: The critics are eager to see how accident-free Google’s self-driving cars will perform once they roll out the read-to-be-driven cars for the consumers. And no company is ever obligated to report the details of its experiments to the public, but the concerned authorities. And I think that is what Google seems to be doing at this point.

This article needs a better editor and a more mature writer.

[S Anwar is the Founder & CEO of SafeMeds.in, primarily involved in Product Management and General Management. He is currently pursuing Executive MBA from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. His detailed profile is available at www.sanwar.in]