One of Google’s automated cars gets in first accident

Google is famous for its search-engine services, advertising services and most recently its work in smartphone operating systems, but Google has a hand in other technological areas as well. One such technological area is the development of automated cars. For some time Google has been testing its small fleet of automated cars without mishap, but recently a Google car got into its first car accident.

In what is the first car accident involving an automated car created by Google, a bit of irony has emerged. A photo obtained by auto blog Jalopnik depicts a Toyota Camry outfitted with a band of electronics on its roof pulled over behind another Camry. A policeman is also pictured taking account of the scene close to Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. While it looks like a Google car got into a highway mishap, Google has released a statement that explains the human driver of the car was likely at fault.

Under law, a human driver must be behind the wheel of the automated Google cars in case anything goes wrong with the system. In the automated mode, the Google cars use a combination of lasers, radar and video cameras to navigate the road and traffic. Google stated the car accident occurred while the human driver was in charge of the car when it was in manual mode. In the same statement, Google assured the public that safety remains the company’s top priority and that Google’s small fleet of automated cars has traveled over 160,000 miles without mishap.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Google’s self-driving car gets in accident, with human driving,” David Sarno Aug. 9, 2011

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