Google self-driving car causes collision

Google has accepted responsibility for a collision involving one of its self-driving cars. Although its cars have been involved in 18 accidents since testing began in 2010, this is the first time Google has admitted its technology was to blame.

Its Lexus SUV tried to merge into traffic on a busy road in Silicon Valley, hitting the side of a bus that was travelling straight at about 15mph. Although there were no injuries, the Google car sustained damages to a wheel, bodywork and side-mounted sensors.

A Google statement said, ‘We clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision. Our car had detected the approaching bus, but predicted that it would yield to us because we were ahead of it.’

Google admits it needs to improve its software’s social motoring – the aspect of driving where motorists anticipate the actions of other road user – and says it has already updated its software to predict that larger vehicles like busses are less likely to yield.