Google, as we’re all aware, has been continuously testing and refining its self-driving autonomous technology for the past couple years. And it is also no stranger to car accidents on the road during these trials. Friday, seems to be one such similar day, where the self-driving car — again due to human error — has been in one of the worst accidents of its lifetime.
According to local news reports, Google’s modified self-driving Lexus RX 450h was involved in a crash with a van in Mountain View, the company’s hometown on Friday at about 1:30 p.m. As far as we know, the self-driving car wasn’t at fault — as usual, but a commercial van driver ran a red light and crashed directly into the Lexus.
The side doors of the car were completely smushed, a couple windows had shattered during the hard blow from the raging van. But,there were no reported injuries, as all airbags deployed on time.
In a statement sent to 9to5 Google, a spokesperson dispenses details about the crash saying,
A Google vehicle was traveling northbound on Phyllis Ave. in Mountain View when a car heading westbound on El Camino Real ran a red light and collided with the right side of our vehicle. Our light was green for at least six seconds before our car entered the intersection.
The self-driving car was in ‘autonomous’ mode during the car, but it wasn’t exactly empty during the crash. There was a Google engineer in the car, who reportedly took over the control and applied brakes when he saw the raging van cross the intersection. But it was already too late and the crash was inevitable.
Human error has generally been the main propellant for accidents that Google’s self-driving cars have been involved in. And now the company is working on improving the tech to eliminate any and all errors on its part — and the same is making it late for a public trial.
With Uber and nuTonomy already leading the self-driving revolution with public trials already in place, Google is likely to partake in the party sooner than you think. It has already decided to bring carpooling services to its Waze application, which gives them an out — to tackle the market and introduce their self-driving vehicles.