On February 14 a Google-owned 2012 Lexus RX450h hit the side of a bus, under what Google terms it as “tricky” traffic conditions. Nobody was hurt in the crash, but it was the first time Google’s on-board computer has been blamed for causing a collision.
The recent crash involving a Google self-driving car and a bus was “not a surprise”, the US transport secretary has said.
“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,” Google said in its monthly report. “In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision. That said, our test driver believed the bus was going to slow or stop to allow us to merge into the traffic, and that there would be sufficient space to do that.”
The incident points to two areas of concern for self-driving vehicles: How do such cars navigate situations that typically require human instinct? And who’s to blame when a self-driving car gets into an accident with a human-driven car?
For now, Google said, it has tweaked its software so its cars will realize that buses and other large vehicles may be less likely to yield than other types of vehicles.
Video Source: The Telegraph on YouTube