Google registers yet another minor hit case as its driverless autonomous self-driving car hits another vehicle at its own fault. The Tech giant Alphabet Inc’s Google said in an official statement on Monday that it bears “some responsibility” when its self- driving car struck a municipal bus in a Minor crash earlier this month. This is the first time Google has claimed “Some responsibility” in a crash involving their six year self-driving project venture.
In a report Google filed with the California regulators on the February 23rd 2016 says the crash took place on the 14th of February when a self-driving Lexus RX450h sought to get around some sandbags in a wide lane.
The report unveils that the autonomous vehicle was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was moving at about 15 miles per hour. The vehicle and the test driver “believed the bus would slow or allow the Google (autonomous vehicle) to continue,” but three seconds later, as the Google car in autonomous mode re-entered the center of the lane and struck the side of the bus, causing damage to the left front fender, front wheel and a driver side sensor. Luckily no one was injured neither in the car or the bus.
Following up Google said in a statement on Monday that “we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved, there wouldn’t have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.”
Further investigation on the incident will be carried out by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Stacey Hendler Ross, spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, said on Monday that the Google car caused minor damage to the bus, striking the “pivoting joint,” or flexible area in the middle of the articulated bus. After the crash, 15 passengers on the bus were transferred to another bus and an investigation to determine liability is pending, she said.
John M. Simpson, privacy project director for advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, said the crash “is more proof that robot car technology is not ready for auto pilot.”
The Incident has been seriously reviewed by Google and the thousands of variations of the same has been incorporated into its simulator in detail and made refinements to the software. Google says, “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.”
Even though Google had claimed said that its autonomous vehicles have never been at fault in any crashes previously, there has been no official determination of fault in this crash. The Mountain View Police Department said no police report was filed in the incident and a spokesman for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to comment.
In December, Google criticized California for proposing regulations that would require autonomous cars to have a steering wheel, throttle and brake pedals when operating on public roads. A licensed driver would need to be ready to take over if something went wrong. The crash comes as Google has been making the case that it should be able to test vehicles without steering wheels and other controls.
Google said in November that in six years of its self-driving project, it has been involved in 17 minor accidents during more than two million miles of autonomous and manual driving combined. Prior to this incident, they had quoted “Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,”