Google’s famed self-driving car got into its first fender-bender this week. The project is aimed at creating less traffic accidents and improving transportation safety and productivity, which makes the event a bit embarrassing. But before you start discounting the advancements in computer capabilities, Google says that the incident was actually caused by human error.
We’ve seen Google’s self-driving car demoed before at a TED event in Long Beach, which equipped a Toyota Prius with various computer controls and sensors. Humans ride in the car but the computer does all the work. The test cars have already logged over
160 million 160,000 miles autonomously along the California coast without incident.
What happened this week, according to Google, occurred while the vehicle was being driven manually. The image of the accident was originally posted by Jalopnik, but a Google spokesperson sent an official statement to AllThingsD regarding the incident:
Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car.