Google self-driving car at fault for first time in accident

Self-driving cars have experienced accidents before, but none had been caused by Google.
Written by Jake Smith, Contributor

A self-driving car under testing by Google struck a public bus in California earlier this month, in what is believed to be the first accident caused by the company's vehicles, according to DMV documents.


The Associated Post reports the car was rolling at 2 mph and the bus at 15 mph. No one was injured, and the report does not put a party at fault.

Google says that its car was trying to get get around sandbags in the street, close to its campus in Mountain View, California. The "driver", or person at the front seat watching the wheel, thought the bus driver would yield.

Google told Reuters in a statement on Monday that "we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn't moved, there wouldn't have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that."

The company has improved its software. "From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future."

Google has been extensively testing its self-driving car project since 2012. It has been involved in several accidents, however they weren't caused by the self-driving cars. In most cases, the self-driving cars were rear-ended.

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