A Google self driving car has been involved in another crash. This time, the fault lies on their side. The search engine giant has just revealed that one of its self driving cars had crashed into a bus in California last month. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries from the incident.
Reuters reports that the crash is the first case of the Google self driving cars hitting another vehicle wherein the fault lies on the self-driving car. It was revealed in a report filed with California regulators last Feb. 23 that the crash took place on Feb. 14 at Mountain View. It happened when one of its self-driving Lexus RX450h has sought to get around some sandbags in a wide lane.
The reports also detailed how the autonomous car was driving at a less than 2 miles per hour while the bus involved was travelling at about 15 miles per hour. According to the report, the said car and its test driver believed that the bus would then slow down or allow the Google car to continue.
However three seconds later, when the autonomous car re-entered the center of the lane, it hit the side of the bus. The hit resulted with the car taking damages to its left front fender, front wheel and driver side sensor. In a statement, Google said that they bear some responsibility of the incident, because if its car had not moved, there wouldn’t be any crash at all, reports BBC.
The autonomous car has clocked up well over a million miles across various states of the US and has only managed to get involved in small and minor collisions, all of which were the fault of the other party. This bus incident marks the first one where they’re to blame.
Meanwhile, The Verge has managed to obtain an excerpt of Google’s next monthly self-driving report which is to be out by tomorrow. In it, the search giant detailed the crash and mentions that what happened is a classic example of the “negotiation that’s a normal part of driving – we’re all trying to predict each other’s movements.”
It also said that Google has now reviewed this incident “and thousands of variations on it in their simulator in detail and made refinements to their software.” The reports says that it will make sure that from now on, “ our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future. “
According to the same report, Google is right; as there is some degree of negotiation involved and having false assumptions during these negotiations leads to crashes.
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