Two self-driving cars' near collision 'taken out of context'

Recently Reuters said that two self-driving cars from rival companies, Google and Delphi, were involved in a near collision when one of Google's self-driving cars cut off one of Delphi's autonomous vehicles. The story went viral quickly, not surprising given some of the fear mongering surrounding cars that can drive themselves. The whole thing was taken out of context, though, says a Delphi spokeswoman. Rather than being as sensational as it sounded, it was simply an example of autonomous vehicles doing exactly what we want them to do.

Delphi is pointing fingers at Reuters, saying through spokeswoman Kristin Kinley in a statement to Ars Technica that:

I was there for the discussion with Reuters about automated vehicles. The story was taken completely out of context when describing a type of complex driving scenario that can occur in the real world. Our expert provided an example of a lane change scenario that our car recently experienced which, coincidentally, was with one of the Google cars also on the road at that time. It wasn't a 'near miss' as described in the Reuters story.

The entire thing started when Delphi's John Absmeier detailed an instance where he was in one of Delphi's Audi Q5 prototypes, and as it was preparing to change lanes a Google self-driving car changed into the lane first, causing Delphi's car to terminate the lane change.

In response, Google provided a much simpler statement:

The headline here is that two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.

SOURCE: Ars Technica