Google’s Driverless Cars: What Could Go Wrong?

Minor crash. Major implications.

After more than six years and 1.4 million miles of test driving, Google thought it could thumb its nose at common sense and allow a driverless car on the road with no worries.

Well, one of its people-less vehicles recently got into a scrap with a bus on the corner of El Camino Real and Castro Street near the Google HQ in Mountain View, Calif.

According to CNBC, the report was filed Feb. 23 when a self-driving Lexus RX450h (hybrid, of course) was trying to maneuver around some sandbags on the road to try not to hit a bus. It didn’t work.

Google said in the filing the autonomous vehicle was traveling at less than 2 miles per hour, while the bus was moving at about 15 miles per hour.

The vehicle and the test driver “believed the bus would slow or allow the Google (autonomous vehicle) to continue,” it said.

Yeah, because moving vehicles with no people in them should always get the right of way. Following the announcement of this PR fail and moving violation, Google took (some) blame for the accident:

“In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision,” the company said. Google added that it has refined its software in the aftermath of the incident.

“From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future.”

No Google. If you car had someone driving it, there probably wouldn’t have been a collision but we in the PRNewserverse are old-school, so don’t mind us.