US: Google can’t stop getting its autonomous cars being rear-ended image

One of Google’s autonomous cars from its massive test fleet was involved in yet another car crash on July 1, with three people being injured as the company’s vehicle was struck from behind by another vehicle.

The three employees suffered minor injuries because of whiplash, when another vehicle impacted from behind the Lexus RX450h prototype – which bundles Google’s vast array of special sensors and software to be able to navigate by itself. The vehicle had stopped at a traffic light close to the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to a company spokesperson. Google added this was the first incident that involved injuries when driverless cars are taken into account – with the people sent to a nearby hospital but released without being admitted.

The Internet search giant has been testing self-driving cars since 2009, with its autonomous models being involved in accidents 14 times, of which eleven incidents involved rear-end crashes. The company said autonomous cars records remained spotless, as the robot vehicle was never at fault in any of the occasions. “Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road,” commented Chris Urmson, director of Google’s autonomous vehicle project, in a recent blog post. The technology giant has on the roads 23 purpose modified Lexus prototypes, which have already clocked at least one million testing miles. It has also started prototype driving since last month of the smallish, bubble-shaped prototypes of its own design on public roads, around Mountain View and in Austin, Texas.

Via Automotive News