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June 29, 2015

Delphi Changes Story, Says Google Self-Driving Car Did Not Nearly Crash Into Audi

Delphi is back-pedaling after one of its executives told Reuters last week one of its self-driving vehicles had to take evasive maneuvers to avoid being side-swiped by an autonomous Google car.

Although Delphi executive John Absmeier — who was in the self-driving Audi (run by Delphi software) at the time of the incident — originally told Reuters the Delphi car “took appropriate action” to avoid being hit by a Google-operated self-driving Lexus, the company is now saying “the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other.”

“During a recent visit with Reuters, our Delphi expert described an actual interaction that we encounter all the time in real-world driving situations. In this case, it was a typical lane change maneuver. No vehicle was cut off and the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other,” the Delphi spokeswoman told Reuters. “Both automated vehicles did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Originally, Absmeier claimed the incident took place when the Delphi vehicle he was riding in was about to make a lane change but was cut off by the Google vehicle, forcing the Audio to abandon the lane change.

Although Google did not comment after Absmeier first talked to Reuters, it later released a short statement: “two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.”

Both Google and Delphi have labs based in Mountain View. Although Delphi is testing only two Audi prototypes, Google has had more than 20 Lexus vehicles equipped with its technology on California roads.

Google last Thursday began testing its own self-driving prototypes on California streets. The Google-built vehicles use the same software and sensors as the Lexus prototypes.

Although both companies have reported accidents in the past, they were all no-fault incidents, mostly due to being rear-ended at traffic lights by another driver.


Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.