After more than 2 million miles on the road, Google’s self-driving SUV may be at fault in an accident after the car bumped into the side of a public bus at a low speed earlier this month. The crash may be the first case of one of its autonomous cars hitting another vehicle and making an error.
The company said its Lexus was in autonomous mode when it was trying to avoid some sandbags on a street in Mountain View, California, at which point it struck the left side of the bus at 2 mph. No injuries were reported. The report said the Google test driver who was in the car “saw the bus approaching in the left side mirror but believed the bus would stop or slow” to allow Google’s car into traffic. Three seconds later, as the car moved to the center of the lane, it hit the side of the bus, which was traveling at 15 mph, according to the report. it struck the side of the bus, causing damage to the left front fender, front wheel and a driver-side sensor. No one was injured.
Google’s autonomous vehicles have been involved in at least a dozen accidents, with many being caused by human drivers rear-ending the autonomous vehicles.
Google said that from now on, the cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles.
sources: cnbc.com; abcnews.go.com; nypost.com