Self driving cars were supposed to usher in a safe new era of travel for everyone on the road, but in the latest failure of the technology, a Google car has crashed into a police station in Lakewood Co.
After analyzing recorders in the car, Google engineers have determined that the car was distracted by texts and it's efforts to play Pokemon Go while mapping a Lakewood neighborhood.
Public Affairs Coordinator Sgt. Souderland for the Lakewood Police Department talked to reporters at a press conference at LPD Headquarters.
"Our new police headquarters as you can see sustained only minor damage to a curb thanks to post 9/11 improvements in building design. Thankfully the Google car did not hit any other cars or pedestrians."
"Now there is a question as to why the car had access to text and Pokemon Go and we're talking to the Google people about this. Google has agreed to temporarily stop mapping until access to texting and gaming apps can be disabled on the self-driving cars."
Consumer advocate Ralph Nader criticized LPD for never having written a ticket for texting and driving or distracted driving due to cellphone use, even though the laws have been on the books for years.
Nader wrote in an Op-Ed piece for the Rocky Mountain News:
"It's ironic that this police department asked Google to stop mapping their city until things like Pokemon Go are disabled on their autonomous cars, self driving cars are safer per mile than the best human drivers. Meanwhile the city of Lakewood like many police forces across the country, is ignoring the real danger of distracted driving and has yet to issue a single ticket for texting and driving or failure to use a hands free device. We know texting and driving is at epidemic proportions with as many as one out of five drivers at any one time driving while distracted by their phones. The NTSB has correlated an increase in accidents with an increase in distracted drivers over the last decade."
Nader summed up his remarks calling for an outright ban on most phone activities while people are driving.
"Even using hands free devices on your phone while driving will increase your chances of having an accident over 100 times, it's time for the NTSB to put the brakes on distracted driving."