Google’s Self Driving Car project which came from its Google X Labs recently made the news. The company, in a report, said that its tech equipped Lexus Autonomous driverless cars were involved in two separate accidents in the month of June.
Google has been reporting traffic incidences to the California’s Motor Department for the past few years. However, the data about accidents and other incidences were not publicly available, until two months ago. Google had to change its policy about making such data public after increased pressure from consumer organizations. As a result, it started reporting such incidences as well other details from April of 2015.
In the second month of reporting, the company revealed that both the accidents were minor and no one was injured. In fact, Google has added that in both the instances, human drivers were at fault. In the first incidence, the driverless Lexus was stopped at a red light. A driver from behind collided with Google’s car at a very slow speed (less than <1 mph). There was no reported damage from both the parties.
Even in the second accident, which occurred on June 18, the human driver in the other car was reportedly at fault. Here’s an excerpt from the company’s monthly report.
“A Google Lexus model autonomous vehicle (Google AV) was traveling northbound on California St. in Mountain View in autonomous mode and was stopped at a red light in the straight-only lane at the intersection of California St. and Bryant St. The lane to the left of the Google AV was a left-turn-only lane.”
“The vehicle waiting immediately behind the Google AV in the straight-only lane began to move forward when the green arrow left turn signal appeared (despite the signal for the straight-only lane remaining red) and collided with the rear bumper of the Google AV. The Google AV had been stopped for about 11 seconds at the time of impact. The other vehicle was traveling about 5 mph at the time of impact.”
In comparison, the self-driving car was involved in two accidents in the month of April and one accident in the month of May. In the past six years, the company’s self-driving cars have covered approximately 1.8 million miles of autonomous and manual driving. Till now, these cars have been involved in 14 minor accidents. According to the company, not once was the self-driving car the cause of the incidence.
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