Google self-driving car accident: three injured
For six years Google has been perfecting self-driving car technology at its Mountain View base in California. And in that time its vehicles have been involved in 14 collisions, none of them the fault of the self-driving cars involved.
The most recent incident involved a high-tech Lexus 4x4 fitted with Google's self-driving technology, waiting at a traffic light junction. The lights were green but the car was stopped because of the volume of traffic queuing. A following car failed to see the stopped cars, and ran into the back of Google's Lexus.
At the time it was occupied by three of Google's staff – California laws insist that self-driving cars are occupied by 'safety observers' each time they proceed on the highway.
Each passenger experienced whiplash injuries from the crash, with their intelligent car able to record that they were struck at 17mph!
Chris Umson, director of Google's driverless car programme, blogged about the incident as soon as it happened on July 1: "Thankfully, everyone in both vehicles was okay, except for a bit of minor whiplash, and a few scrapes on our bumper.
"The other vehicle wasn't so lucky; its entire front bumper fell off," he reported, adding "our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road. That's a big motivator for us."
The tech company's goal is to have self-driving technology fully tested and available to US consumers within the next five years.
Would you trust a self-driving car with your family's safety on the road? Have your say in the comments section below.
Author: Dave Richards