We were all waiting for it. That moment when the first self-driving car proved all of our fears right and got into an at-fault accident.
Well, it’s finally happened.
Mashable reports that the crash occurred this past Valentine’s Day, after one of Google’s self-driving cars in autonomous mode bumped into a public bus on a road in Mountain View, California. The motor vehicle incident marks the first time a crash involving a self-driving google car has been the cause. There have been more than a dozen crash reports involving the self-driving cars since 2009, but none have found the Google vehicle at fault.
Although the DMV report doesn’t officially address fault, Google has come out on its own to claim partial responsibility for the accident.
To be clear, Google’s car wasn’t going very fast. 2 mph to be exact. The bus in front of it was going 15 mph at the time of the accident. No one was injured, the bus had minor damage, and the car “sustained body damage to the left front fender, the left front wheel and one of its drivers side sensors,” according to the DMV report that was posted Monday.
The accident was reported by Google to California’s Department of Motor Vehicles and the company has plans to release more specific details on the crash in its monthly report on its self-driving cars.
Within the report, Google states that “we clearly bear some responsibility,” but also notes that the accident was the “type of misunderstanding [that] happens between human drivers on the road every day.”
Apparently, the car attempted to maneuver around several sandbags on the Mountain View street. It was during that time that the left front of the vehicle struck the right side of the bus. The human driver, which accompanies all of Google’s self-driving cars, could have taken control of the vehicle but didn’t because he believed the bus would yield to Google’s car.