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When Google Self-Driving Cars Are in Accidents, Humans Are to Blame


A rear-end collision, the type several Google self-driving cars have experiences.

A report by Google on the safety record of its fleet of self-driving cars says the few accidents the vehicles have experienced were all the fault of humans.

Credit: LearWerts.com

In its latest report on the safety record of its fleet of self-driving cars, Google says in six years the vehicles have been involved in only 12 minor accidents, all of which were the fault of humans.

The accidents include eight instances of the self-driving cars being rear-ended, one of a vehicle being merged into, and one incident in which a vehicle was struck from the side. A final incident, which did not result in any damage, involved the mirror of a non-Google car grazing a sensor on an automated Lexus. One of the incidents detailed in the report was the fault of a Google employee who was driving one of the self-driving vehicles manually when he rear-ended another vehicle.

In the report, Google also discusses the improvements it has made to its cars, including the ability to distinguish ambulances from regular traffic and react accordingly.

Chris Urmson, director of the self-driving car program, says the extensive testing Google has done will give its latest prototypes, "the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American driving experience."

Google's new prototypes will be tested on the streets of Mountain View, CA, this summer.

From The Atlantic
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