Just last week, the Google car was reported to be responsible for an accident where it collided with a transit bus. Now, a new video has surfaced, showing the exact moment the autonomous car came in contact with the public bus.
The accident took place on February 14, 2016, Valentine’s Day, when Google’s Lexus-model self-driving car hit the side of a public bus in the Silicon Valley city. Based on the footage that was recorded by cameras on the bus, the autonomous car, which the company had equipped with sensors and cameras that make it capable of driving itself, drove into the path of the bus that was moving at a speed of about 15 miles per hour.
The accident was officially the first time for Google’s self-driving car after it went through several years of testing on public roads. The company before said that manned drivers were responsible for collisions that happened during its testing phase. Now, the search giant admittedly says it is responsible for the crash, albeit just partially.
“Unfortunately, all these assumptions led us to the same spot in the lane at the same time. This type of misunderstanding happens between human drivers on the road every day,” said the company in a statement.
Both video footage and post-crash photographs were released by the Santa Clara Valley transportation authority this week to the AP after a request for public records. Fortunately, it was only a low-speed collision. The transit bus was moving only at a speed of 15 miles per hour while Google’s autonomous car was driving at a speed of just two miles per hour.
However, the collision resulted to damages to the self-driving car’s left side that got crumpled, its tire flattened, and the radar Google installed to track its surroundings torn off.
More and more crashes that involve self-driving cars are bound to happen as manufacturers and developers test drive these on public roads. Autonomous cars will sometimes have to make assumptions on its own on how to manage the conditions of the road. It just so happened that the autonomous car this time made a bad decision.