Wired reports that the an accident report was filed with California DMV on February 23 and made public yesterday.
Apparently it happened when Google’s car — which was in autonomous driving mode at moving and 2 mph — changed lanes and put itself in the path of an oncoming bus. The Lexus SUV and was driving itself down El Camino Real in Mountain View. It moved to the far right lane to make a right turn onto Castro Street, but stopped when it detected sand bags sitting around a storm drain and blocking its path.
The FL LEGAL GROUP team has this to say:
Google is pushing the envelope on self-driving vehicles, and while the technology is improving, it isn’t going to be anywhere near roadworthy in the future. A human being, alert and paying attention to the roadway and their surroundings, will always be far better at responding to changes in their environment.
The report says it was the move to get around the sand bags that caused the trouble.
“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 reentering the center of the lane it made contact with the side of the bus.”
Google’s car was in autonomous mode and driving at 2 mph at the time of the crash. The bus was driving at about 15 mph, per the report. No injuries were reported, but the front left wheel and fender of Google’s car were damaged.