The Inquirer writes Google's driverless cars may sometimes exceed the speed limit. Dmitri Dolgov, lead engineer of Google's driverless car project, explains the vehicles will mostly stay within the speed limit but are programmed to judge whether staying under the speed limit might be more dangerous than slightly exceeding it. When the algorithm judges that driving a bit faster is safer it will do so, but the maximum overshoot is limited to 10 miles per hour.
Dolgov's decision follows research that shows that sticking to the speed limit when surrounded by drivers exceeding it can be dangerous and that keeping up with the traffic flow is the safest course of action.
Because driverless cars don't have the human intuition that motorists sometimes are required to call on, the 10mph buffer acts to compensate.
"Thousands and thousands of people are killed in car accidents every year," Dolgov told Reuters, "This could change that."