Google’s self-driving car has been deemed as the epitome of safety ever since it came out. Promising to bring you anywhere and help you get around safely regardless of your skills in driving, self-driving cars were said to soon take over the roads. However, in what seems to be the first accident to be officially recorded as the company’s fault, one of the search engine giant’s self-driving cars has caused a collision with a transit bus earlier this month.
According to an accident report that was filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), Google’s Lexus model self-driving car was driving at a speed of less than two miles per hour when it hit a public transit bus on its left side after trying to get around a sandbag in the road.
Google’s autonomous car “moved to the right hand side of the lane” in order to move from the traffic that was in the same lane but instead proceeded in moving straight as it approached a stoplight to turn right on red. However, the self-driving car needed to stop so that it could go around a sandbag that was in its way. Afterwards, Google’s car collided with the side of a passing bus, thus causing damage to the left front fender, the left front wheel, and one of the side sensors of the driver. The bus was reported to be moving at 15 miles per hour.
“Our self-driving cars spend a lot of time on El Camino Real, a wide boulevard of three lanes in each direction that runs through Google’s hometown of Mountain View and up the peninsula along San Francisco Bay. With hundreds of sets of traffic lights and hundreds more intersections, this busy and historic artery has helped us learn a lot over the years. And on Valentine’s Day we ran into a tricky set of circumstances on El Camino that’s helped us improve an important skill for navigating similar roads,” reads an excerpt from Google’s next monthly self-driving report that has been obtained by The Verge.
Google admits that it bears “some responsibility” in this event because if its self-driving car had not moved, a collision would not have taken place.