A newly released video by Associated Press shows the footage from inside the bus which had an accident with the self-driving Google Lexus car on 14 February. The video shows the reaction of the driver when the car brushed the side of the bus. The bus was halted to gauge the damage.
On Valentine's day, the self-driving Google Lexus SUV was cruising at 15 mph but it was in the path of the bus when the collision took place. The video has been released by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority to AP under public record request. Fortunately, there were no casualties.
This was the first public incident after Google started its experiment with autonomous cars. They have reported several incidents of minor car accidents around their office of Mountain View and on the test roads but this was the first incident recorded in Public. In the US four states and Washington D.C. have passed the law for autonomous cars.
Google started the experiment in 2012 with Toyota Prius. Now they are experimenting with a number of cars including Toyota Prius Audi TT, and Lexus RX450h. All these cars have multiple sensors and 3D mapping technology installed.
The accident took place because the Lexus was trying to turn right but it detected sandbags. So instead, it stopped in the path of the bus and got brushed off. The left side of the car was damaged and the front tire was deflated. A Google employee who was in the driver's seat to take over in case of an emergency let the car react before the accident. The Google software thought that the bus would pass the Lexus in the flow of the traffic.
Google took partial responsibility for the crash. Damage to the bus was between $2,000 and $3,000. Google said that over time the technology will improve to have more safety guidelines and responses to different situations. Right now the software in the self-driving cars is very conservative.
Apart from Google several companies have dived into the market of self-driving cars. Last August some documents confirmed that Apple is building a self-driving car. BMW, Mercedes-Benz, General motors and Telsa are among the few in the race for autonomous cars. A report even suggests that by 2020 there will be 10 million such cars on the road. Although there are several safety concerns regarding the whole driverless car technology.
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