Google driver crashes autonomous car

Automotive blog Jalopnik got a tip this week, complete with photo, showing a fender bender between two Prii, one from Google's autonomous car project. Google says its car was being manually driven at the time.

Google autonomous car
Google's autonomous cars have racked up many miles of testing on public roads. Google

Automotive blog Jalopnik got a tip this week that one of Google's autonomous cars , a Prius, got in a fender bender near the search giant's Mountain View campus. Google issued a statement noting that the car was being driven by its human pilot when the accident occurred.

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The Google Prius and another Prius were involved in a minor collision, although there are no details as to which driver might have been at fault. When Google revealed that its autonomous cars had been road testing in California a few years ago, it acknowledged that there had been one minor accident, but that the other car was at fault. During its testing of the cars, a driver has been at the wheel, ready to take over if the self-driving systems should fail.

Google should be able to confirm the details of this recent accident using the Prius' computer logs. If its sensors were turned on, they should paint a picture of what was happening around the car. Additionally, its systems would show if it was being driven manually, with details such as speed, braking, and wheel turn.

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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