If Google's autonomous vehicles are a litmus test for things to come, other automakers delving into the self-driving car space should expect complete public transparency, too.
That's because the California DMV has published nearly a year's worth of driverless car accidents, stemming from October 2014 to this past August. The reports detail Google's autonomous cars being involved in eight accidents — none of which can be blamed on the tech company's self-driving technology.
That being said, six of the eight accidents were detailed as drivers rear-ending Google's vehicles and three of those were when the company's cars were parked. It's important to mention, though, that the accident descriptions come from Google, and the company had been releasing its autonomous car accident reports since May, but the DMV publishing them is still a start to the technology becoming more transparent to the public eye. Drivers can use this information to decide whether a self-driving car is suitable for them in the near future.
With more auto manufacturers primed to request California for permits to test their self-driving cars, the California DMV will likely be busy dealing with driverless car accident reports and the autonomous technology, overall, for years to come.
This could also be a taste of transparency obligations to come for automakers such as Ford, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo, all of which are reportedly prepping autonomous cars as well.
With a New York Times report just last month pointing to Google's self-driving cars being too safe, and with this news of California's DMV publishing driverless vehicles' accident reports, Google can use the transparency to keep proving that its autonomous technology is safe on the roads.