Google driverless car causes five-car crash

Google driverless car causes five-car crash

Summary: A Google driverless Toyota Prius allegedly caused a five-car collision - but is the search giant to blame?

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TOPICS: Google
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It seems that one of Google's self-driving cars caused a five-car crash right near the search giant's Mountain View Googleplex headquarters. Is it going to be a roadblock for the Google driverless car program?

Let's be clear: we now know that there was a human behind the wheel of the Google-customized Toyota Prius which allegedly instigated in the incident - at least, that's what Google's claiming. Originally, car blog Jalopnik, which broke the story when a tipster came forward with photos, wasn't sure who was driving when the accident occurred.

And without access to an official accident report, we may never know for sure - and Google's not going to be releasing that anytime soon.

But NBC San Francisco followed up and got a witness report:

Google's Prius struck another Prius, which then struck her Honda Accord that her brother was driving. That Accord then struck another Honda Accord, and the second Accord hit a separate, non-Google-owned Prius.

Meanwhile, Business Insider got an official response from Google:

"Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car."

If a person was driving the car, then this is a non-issue. And again, without any kind of official documentation, we don't know if Google's being straight with us on this one. But one of the things that opened the way for Nevada to begin the process of licensing Google's driverless cars was the fact that they had an impeccable safety record - even with 140,000 miles driven in testing.

And this incident raises other interesting questions, regardless of whether it was Google or a human at the wheel: if a driverless car gets into an accident, is it considered negligence on the part of the person in the front seat? After all, you can't give a computer a court summons, and having the car drive itself is a pretty solid impetus for taking your eyes off the road.

Topic: Google

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71 comments
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  • Wow!! Pathetic!!!

    So we have one of two thing:
    1- Google's experiment is a failure (this is the 2nd accident in a week).
    2- Google is being FAKING the test by having a driver at the control all the time.

    Either way, it is not good. Wost part is that Google's pathetic denials are actually making the situation worst. So now we are supposed to believe that somehow the "human" (that isn't supposed to be inside of the car) is purposely causing the accident, not once but twice in a week .....

    It would had being better if they just said something like the software, still under development, did not react fast enough to an aggressive move by another vehicle and that they are working on fixing the problem? Then saying that errors during test phase are common and that they make the final product better .....

    But instead, lets blame it on the invisible men or gremlins ....
    wackoae
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @wackoae The law states that the car must be occupied by a human being at the wheel. Why is it all of a sudden impossible for a human to crash a car? Because it's googles autodrive? Wait for the report to come out then troll. Get your facts right before writing up a whole heap of crap.
      pokocenje
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @wackoae What's this about a 2nd accident in a week?
      skippe93
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @skippe93 He read an article about the same incident on two different sites. Therefore, it has crashed twice in a week.
        zoredache
    • Translation?

      Can someone please translate this comment to proper English?
      grayforge
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @wackoae: Google has stated the whole time that during all the tests, there were people physically behind the wheel. That doesn't mean they were operating the vehicle at the time. If this was close to there headquarters, I wouldn't be shocked that a person was driving it as they probably were taking it into position to start a test.
      multiplem
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @multiplem
        There are people from all over the world reading these blogs. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, I suspect he writes English better than you do his native language. Perhaps any language.
        jorjitop
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @wackoae "Google is being FAKING" "Worst part is" "making the situation worst." "It would had being better"

      Excellent rebuttal my good man, you may take your seat in the front of the short bus on your way back to 5th grade.
      ktell
      • Intellect of a reader

        @ktell ... FIFTH grade? IMO you were too knid to it.
        tom@...
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @ktell You're giving wackoae credit for more abilities than he showed. I have twin boys going into 5th grade this fall. They don't make the mistakes he did! I don't think many 5th graders do. He's most likely an "all tech, only tech" animal, and can't bother with English.
        kenblood@...
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @wackoae ... You certanly have a selective readng ablity.
      tom@...
    • Pathetic indeed. But NOT on Google's part.

      @wackoae

      [b]So we have one of two thing:[/b] You mean "one of two things: Either" right?[b]
      1- Google's experiment is a failure (this is the 2nd accident in a week).

      [/b] Nope, just the one. And the next word you were looking for is "or" to go with the "either/or" usage.[b]

      2- Google is being FAKING the test by having a driver at the control all the time.[/b]

      You man Google is "FAKING" not "being FAKING" right?

      Dude, usually you post some lucid and somewhat credible arguments but this is just straight out FUD and a poor attempt at that. Come on man, get it together!
      athynz
  • Message has been deleted.

    Peter_Cao
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @Peter_Cao Please seek professional help. I know it's sometimes hard to keep taking the antipsychotics, but for the sake of everyone, please try.
      Onaka
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @Onaka, @QuiMoi, @omb00900@...<br><br>Blaming me for having psycho problem is one old trick those criminals I mentioned to escape from facing the facts and escape from answering to those sound and clear accusations. There are real names, dates, photos, details of events in my posters, along with a police case number. If those who was accused dare not deny it, what's your question then?<br><br>Were your mind still made of human being's, you'd have gone and crashed those criminals, because those crimes had endangered human lives. The criminals had killed the innocent to resolve their problem; if they are not concurred, that innocent could be you in the future. Your blaming of a powerless victim as I am really make me psychologically sick.
        Peter_Cao
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @Peter_Cao If you are in fact a real person then I apologize for this comment. I must say however that your writing style is very similar to what I believe the first attempts of a sophisticated program attempting to use current events to create a commentary would be. You need a little tweaking.
      QuiMoi
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @QuiMoi
        >>I apologize for this comment.
        My comments are full of facts. You'd better apologize for the happening of those crimes.
        Peter_Cao
    • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

      @Peter_Cao - really, peter - before you do something you'll regret and hurt yourself or someone else. If you've been prescribed medication, you need to be taking it!
      omb00900@...
      • RE: Google driverless car causes five-car crash

        @omb00900@... <br>You are not at all in earnest when you say 'really'. I've heard thousands of times of this 'prescribed meds' excuse, really cliche. <br><br>No matter what exuse those criminals use, they dare not deny any accusations. These are crimes that endangered human lives, and they are irreparable and unforgivable. They would sooner or later face the facts and be served with justice.
        Peter_Cao
  • These things are on our roads?

    These things are on our roads?

    I thought we were still in the experimental stage with closed courses and such. I really don't think the tech is good enough for regular roads yet.
    CobraA1