Is Google causing car crashes in California?
May 11, 2015
Four of the 48 cars currently driving themselves around California have been in accidents since September. [NBC News]
Two of the accidents occurred while the cars were driving themselves, and two took place while a person was in control of the wheel. The state keeps track of accidents involving the self-driving cars for which it has issued permits, but citing confidentiality provisions, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has not issued reports on the accidents.
All of the accidents involved speeds of less than 10 mph. Three involved Lexus SUVs outfitted with Google equipment, and the other involved parts supplier Delphi Automotive.
Google and Delphi are currently testing self-driving cars on state roads under DMV permits. Both companies said their cars were not at fault in any of the accidents, and the collisions were minor.
A Delphi spokeswomen said its car was broadsided while waiting to make a left-turn with a human driver in control. Google, which has 23 Lexus SUVs, would not discuss the details of its three California collisions.
Last year, the head of Google’s self-driving car program acknowledged that three of its vehicles were involved in minor collisions when the company first sent them onto public roads without state permission.
Five other companies also have testing permits in California.