Technology

Google Reports Two Driverless Car Accidents, Blames Humans

Google driverless cars met with two accidents on the streets of Mountain View California in June. However, Google maintains that the accidents, like the previous ones, are due to other human driver’s faults.

Google Reports Two Driverless Car Accidents, Blames Humans

Two Google cars met accidents in June

Google, in a report on Wednesday, said in both the accidents, which took place on June 4 and June 18, Google’s driverless car was in autonomous mode and stopped when the other vehicle hit it at low-speed. The Internet firm said that no one was injured. In one case Google’s Lexus was hit by an SUV, which was traveling around five miles an hour, and in the other case, there was no damage as the speed of the driverless vehicle was even slower.

For years, Google was only reporting about its driverless vehicle accidents to the California Department of Motor Vehicles after deciding to keep it a secret from the public. However, after pressure from activist organizations such as Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project, the company had no option but to publish all the accident data. Furthermore, the company created a website for driverless vehicles project updates.

Fault of human drivers again

According to Google, this is the third time a driverless vehicle was hit by a careless human this year. Google, in its second monthly report, stated that its driverless cars have covered more than 1.8 million miles, which includes 1 million miles in “autonomous” mode with a human safety driver, but without any manual control. Since 2009, since the project began, there have been a total of 14 accidents, but each time it was the fault of human drivers rather than any fault in the technology. Google has already started sending its custom-made self-driving car prototype on recon missions.

In June, the search engine giant also began testing its own prototype vehicle on public roads near its Mountain View campus. To date the company has been using Lexus vehicles equipped with its self-driving software.

It’s not just Google who is excited with the driverless car concept, companies such as Uber and Ford are also gearing up to venture into the field. Uber is already working to form its own engineering team together robotics-focused Carnegie Mellon University. Ford, on the other hand, has already made public its efforts in the  driverless car segment, and is moving from a research project to a full-fledged engineering team.

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