The Google auto reportedly pulled out in front of the Delphi vehicle. These robotic prototypes were tested successfully on private tracks and now are being tested on public roads. None of the other five had reported any accidents.
Google played down the the incident, saying early reports that the cars were involved in a “near miss” were inaccurate.
In all instances, the self-driving prototype was not at fault, in line with the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the businesses.
Google didn’t respond to a request for comment about the incident. Both cars made it out unscathed.
The close call is believed to be the first of its kind, according to Reuters. The cars had previously been confined to a private track on a ex- Air Force base located about 120 miles southeast of San Francisco.
The prototypes will have “safety drivers” who can take over using manual controls if needed, according to Google. Safety drivers provide feedback to the team, making the ride smoother and more comfortable as we continue to refine the technology. (Data so far suggests the challenge might be with self-driving cars being too safe, not the other way around.) In this way, the cars are similar to the many self-driving Lexus SUVs that Google already has driving on and around its Mountain View campus.
Google is not the only tech firm in the self-driving vehicle race. About 35 percent, meanwhile, would feel “comfortable or fairly comfortable”.
It also detailed some of the accidents that the cars have been involved in.
And while Tuesday’s incident suggests that self-driving cars do still have a few kinks, the study shows that humans have broader concerns about the rapidly advancing field of robotics. The aim of street testing the cars is to gather additional real-life data and to gain insight on how other road users perceive and interact with the cars.
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