A Bang That’s A Fizzle
In the first accident that tech giant Google has disclosed about its infamous Google self-drive initiative, Google revealed that in late February, one of their driver-less cars had hit a city bus in the company’s hometown of Mountain View, California. However the car was only going for 2 miles per hour, therefore, the accident was not that intense and severe.
The Associated Press managed to get the copy of the video which was rather taken down on Wednesday afternoon, but not before the footage was downloaded by someone who then went on to post it on Liveleak. The video was taken from the bus’ onboard camera. The collision is barely visible even for the passengers on board, and some others say that even if you blink you might just miss the accident.
The modified Lexus SUV Google car, bumped into the bus which was travelling at 15 mph whilst the Google car was at 2 mph. This explains why the passengers react 13 seconds later, to show how minimal the contact was. The Google car, however, damaged its left front fender, its wheel and one of its sensors. You have got to say if it didn’t manage to sense the presence of a bus in front of it, then probably the sensors were not working before that already. Fortunately, there were no injuries reported at the scene.
A report from the California’s DMV about the incident says, “After a few cars had passed, the Google AV began to proceed back into the center of the lane to pass the sand bags, a public transit bus was approaching from behind. The Google AV test driver saw the bus approaching in the left side mirror but believed the bus would stop or slow to allow the Google AV to continue. Approximately three seconds later, as the Google AV was re-entering the centre of the lane it made contact with the side of the bus.”
Is This The Future?
These google cars are prototypes the company is testing, and they are not available to the general public. There was only minor damage according to the Valley Transportation Authority spokesperson. One can only hope that when they are given to the public all these problems will be fixed.
Google has already claimed responsibility for the incident which they claimed in a statement to Engadget, a tech website. In February US law makers decided that artificial intelligence behind a wheel could be interpreted as a driver.
The incident is a minor blip in Google’s initiative to bring driverless cars to our roads. We all learn from our mistakes right.