It had to happen at some point…right?
Google’s self-driving car technology has caused an accident. The company’s self-driving Lexus SUV was the first out of the fleet of self-driving vehicles that has CAUSED a crash. The incident occurred on the 14th of February 2016, colliding with the side of a bus near Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The company now has to appear before California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, otherwise known as the DMV, to engage in conversation about the incident and investigate what exactly went wrong.
Head of Google’s self-driving project Chris Urmson explained the collision to the Associated Press, saying, “We saw the bus, we tracked the bus, we thought the bus was going to slow down, we started to pull out, there was some momentum involved.”
Google has released a statement that you can read in full: Click here. They admit to some responsibility but chalk the incident down to “a classic example of the negotiation that’s a normal part of driving.” They also concede that just like humans are trying to predict each other’s movements on the road, that is what their self-driving technology is trying to do as well.
Luckily, there were no injuries reported. This begs the question of whether or not the technology is ready to release to consumers around the world. Earlier in February, it was reported that the artificial intelligence system invented by Google would be considered under the same laws that human drivers are. However, after this incident, there might be some delays in the process.
For more information on how self-driving technology was engineered, here is Chris Urmson’s TED talk