Google's self-driving has been involved in a number of accidents, but this might be the first where company's Lexus SUV could be proved to have caused the accident. Technology indeed comes with its own vulnerabilities. Google releases a monthly report detailing the testing of its self-driving technology. But before the report was out, a traffic incident filing involving Google's Lexus RH450h was made public by the Department of Motor Vehicles
With many automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Audi and BMW racing to launch their own self-driving cars in the coming years, the safety performance and concerns of current test vehicles is under intense scrutiny. DMV's investigations are on, but Google has accepted at least some role in the incident.
"Our self-driving car was travelling in autonomous mode about 2 miles per hour, side-swiped a city bus, driving 15mph, in Mountain View, California. Our car had detected the approaching bus but predicted that it would give way to us because we were ahead of it," Google wrote in its monthly report. "Our test driver, who had been watching the bus in the mirror, also expected the bus to either slow or stop. Unfortunately, all these assumptions led us to the same spot in the lane at the same time which caused the accident".
The report further added "This is a classic example of the negotiation that's a normal part of driving - we're all trying to predict each other's movements. In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility."
Only after four days of a legal breakthrough for the self-driving car where the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told Google it would like to give the self-driving computer the same legal approach as a human driver, the bus crash arrived.
Google vows to improve its self-driving algorithm, stating- "From now on, our cars will try to understand that large vehicles are less likely to allow us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future."
If the DMV holds the Google car to be at fault for the accident, it could be seen as a hindrance to the company's ambitious plan of autonomous vehicle plans and for other players as well who plan to roll out their own models of self-driving car soon.