Google says an accident involving its autonomous car has resulted in its first reported accident involving human injuries. On July 1st, one of the Google Cars, a Lexus SUV was driving autonomously towards an intersection in Mountain View, CA when a car slammed into the back of the SUV going 17 mph without having braked at all.
Apparently, the traffic light was green which had traffic backed up and instead of getting stuck in the middle of the intersection cars in front of the Google Car and to the sides stopped to ensure the intersection was clear before going. The driver behind the Google Car was clearly distracted as it had not braked just before hitting the Google Car in the rear.
You can view what the Google Car had seen in the video below. It shows the cars around along with the current speed limit, its speed, and the traffic light status.
Since the start of the Google Car project in 2009, other drivers have hit the Google Self-Driving Cars a total of 14 times. The Google Car has never been at fault, even after driving over 10,000 miles per week on average now which is about the amount of miles a typical American drives in a year.
Our self-driving cars can pay attention to hundreds of objects at once, 360 degrees in all directions, and they never get tired, irritable or distracted. People, on the other hand, “drive as if the world is a television show viewed on TiVo that can be paused in real time — one can duck out for a moment, grab a beer from the fridge, and come back to right where they left off without missing a beat” said Chris Urmson over the Google Car Project.