The road to building a safer car is somewhat bumpy as Google’s driverless vehicles that are eventually supposed to reduce accidents have been in 17 crashes. These incidents were all minor, and Google cars were not at fault in any of these events. However, the first accident where a self-driving car at least shares responsibility occurred on Feb. 14 near Google’s California headquarters.
The accident took place in Mountain View when the Google car, a Lexus 450 hybrid SUV, wanted to turn right while in the right lane. The vehicle had to navigate around sandbags near a storm drain and moved towards the center of the lane when a bus behind the Lexus hit its left side.
The bus driver and Google test driver both thought the other vehicle would yield, and a Google representative said that the vehicle was partly responsible for the accident because a crash would not have occurred if the Lexus did not move. The driverless car traveled at less than 2 mph when the collision happened while the bus traveled at around 15 mph, and the car reportedly sustained some damage on its left side. No injuries were reported.
Trying to anticipate another vehicle’s movements is part of driving, and Google has apparently already learned from this incident. The software has been updated to prevent a collision like this from happening again, and the self-driving cars now know that large vehicles like buses are less likely to yield.
Victims of car accidents can seek compensation for injuries when the negligence of another driver leads to a crash. When autonomous car software glitches or malfunctions are responsible for an accident in the future, personal injury attorneys may be looking to the vehicle manufacturer for the recovery of damages.