An anonymous reader writes: At a robotics conference in Santa Clara, California, the head of Google's autonomous car project presented results of a study showing that the company's autonomous cars are already safer that human drivers — including trained professionals. 'We're spending less time in near-collision states,' he said. 'In addition to painting a rosy picture of his vehicles’ autonomous capabilities, Urmson showed a new dashboard display that his group has developed to help people understand what an autonomous car is doing and when they might want to take over.' This follows another (non-Google) study earlier this week that found the adoption of autonomous cars could save thousands of lives and billions of dollars each year. Urmson also pointed out that determining liability for an accident is much easier using the data collected by the autonomous cars. At one point, a test car was read-ended, and the data shows it smoothly braking to a stop before being struck. 'We don’t have to rely on eyewitnesses that can’t act be trusted as to what happened—we actually have the data. The guy around us wasn't paying enough attention. The data will set you free.'