Google accepts blame for its self-driving car causing crash

-NEW SCIENTIST, 1 MARCH 2016, FEAT. PROF. BRYANT WALKER SMITH:

On 14 February, the AI in charge of one of Google’s cars drove into the side of a bus. The incident – which California’s Department of Motor Vehicles documented publicly yesterday – is the first clear-cut case of an accident caused by the tech giant’s self-driving technology.

The bus was driving straight ahead on Silicon Valley’s busy El Camino Real road when Google’s Lexus SUV pulled out into its side, crushing the car’s wing. The accident report says the car sustained some damage to a wheel, bodywork and side-mounted sensors. There were no injuries.

Google’s autonomous cars have been involved in 18 accidents in Mountain View since the company started testing its self-driving systems there in 2010. In all previous accidents, however, another vehicle struck the Google car while it was either stationary or moving slowly. This is the first time that a vehicle controlled by Google’s software seems to have been at fault. <Read More>