US: Google will now report each month if autonomous test fleet had accidents image

Google Inc, the Internet search giant that is seeking to disrupt the traditional auto industry with its autonomous vehicle program, has now announced it would give monthly reports on accidents linked to its self-driving prototypes.

The first such report had Google acknowledge its cars had been involved in 12 crashes since the technology giant first started testing autonomous vehicles back in 2009, with the vast majority having the prototypes being rear-ended. And last week the total reached 13 accidents, with one of its cars again hit in the back at a stoplight in California. “That could mean that the vehicles tend to stop more quickly than human drivers expect,” has issued an opinion on the matter the public interest group Consumer Watchdog. Google was quick to address the concern from the group, saying their conclusion was actually erroneous because most of the impacts involving rear-end accidents happened when their vehicle was already stopped. Google added that none of the 13 crashes was caused as a fault with the test fleet. Additionally, the incidents mostly involved the modified self-driving Lexus RX450h sport utility vehicles that Google has been using alongside a fleet of Prius hybrids.

Google is now getting ready to enter a new phase of its self-driving test program, as the company has announced it is going to take its pod-like prototype vehicles off the test track and on to the streets of Mountain View, California, sometimes this summer. Billed by the company as “the world’s first fully self-driving vehicle,” the prototypes are being manufactured in Detroit by auto supplier Roush Industries.

Via Reuters