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Google Self-Driving Car in Serious Crash After Another Car Runs Red Light

Google has confirmed one of its self-driving vehicles was in a serious no-fault crash late last week.

A Google autonomous vehicle was driving in Mountain View when a car ran a red light and slammed into the right side of the Google-modified Lexus. No one was injured but, according to media reports, the occupant of the autonomous vehicle was badly shaken.

“Our light was green for at least six seconds before our car entered the intersection,” Google said in a statement released to the media. “Thousands of crashes happen everyday on U.S. roads, and red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes in the U.S. Human error plays a role in 94 percent of these crashes, which is why we’re developing fully self-driving technology to make our roads safer.”

google-car-mapThis is not the first time a Google car has been in a collision. A Lexus SUV loaded with Google sensors was rear-ended July 1 at a traffic light, resulting in minor whiplash injuries. There have been other more minor crashes as well in which Google cars have been hit from behind, but no injuries were sustained.

Only once has a Google vehicle been at fault in a collision. Back in February, a self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs sideswiped a public bus while making a lane change in Mountain View.  Although no one was injured, the incident did prompt Google to make some changes to the software powering its vehicles. A report filed to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) revealed the Lexus sustained damage to its left front fender, the left front wheel and one of its driver’s-side sensors.

In August, Google’s fleet of 58 vehicles drove a total of 170,000 miles — 126,000 of which were driven autonomously.

“Given that the average U.S. adult drives around 12,000 miles a year, our self-driving cars have navigated the equivalent of 10 years of human driving in just 31 days,” Google said in its most recent monthly report. “Over the last year, we’ve doubled the number of miles we drive, covering anywhere between 20,000 to 25,000 each week.”

So far, Google’s self-driving fleet has logged nearly two million autonomous miles — on the open road.

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Jennifer Cowan

Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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