One of Google’s self-driving car prototypes was involved in a serious accident this Friday. At the intersection of West El Camino Real and Calderon Avenue in Mountain View, California, the vehicle was damaged by a van on the passenger door. According to initial reports, no one was injured, but both vehicles had to be towed away.
According to the accident report, the fault lies with the van driven by a human driver who ran the red light. According to Google, the red phase for oncoming traffic had already lasted six seconds when the transport disregarded the red light and crashed into the Google vehicle located in the intersection.
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Google’s vehicles, 58 of which operate on public roads in California and other U.S. states, have logged more than 270,000 miles on the road this month alone, according to the latest report from August 2016. Not surprisingly, accidents are bound to happen along the way. Most of the accidents involving Google’s vehicle so far have been caused by the drivers of the other vehicles. This incident, however, was the most serious so far and shows once again how necessary it is to relieve people of the responsibility of driving a car.
Google issued a statement Friday night about the accident. Here in the wording:
A Google vehicle was traveling north on Phyllis Avenue in Mountain View when a westbound car on El Camino Real disregarded a red light and crashed into the side of our vehicle. Our light had been showing green for at least six seconds before our vehicle entered the intersection. Thousands of accidents occur every day on U.S. roadways, and disregarded red lights is the leading cause of urban accidents in the United States. Human error plays a role in 94 percent of all crashes, which is why we’re developing self-driving cars to make our roads safer.
The photo was taken by Ron van Zuylen.
This article was also published in German.