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Report: Humans at Fault in Crashes Involving 6 Autonomous Cars

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 6/19/2015 Kelly Pleskot

Numerous accidents involving self-driving cars have been reported in recent months, leaving the public to wonder about the safety of this new technology. But this week, the DMV released records of six separate collisions involving these vehicles, and in each case, human error was deemed to be the cause.

Report: Humans at Fault in Crashes Involving 6 Autonomous Cars

Most of the prototype cars were in "autonomous mode" during the time of the accident, but the driver of the other vehicle caused the collision in each case. No one involved in the accidents was treated for any injuries, according to the reports.

google-autonomous-lexus-rx450h-3© Provided by MotorTrend google-autonomous-lexus-rx450h-3

The new information comes after a bit of a struggle between the DMV and the Associated Press, which argued that the agency was improperly withholding information about autonomous car crashes. The DMV initially refused due to confidentiality requirements, but later changed course, finding a way to release the records without divulging the personal information of the drivers involved.

Research

Five of the reported accidents involved Google's autonomous Lexus SUVs. In light of the recent attention, Google has committed to better communicating with the public about the details of its crashes. One of its accidents this year, Google says, involved another driver striking the autonomous car's rear bumper after failing to brake. In another case, a separate car simply brushed the sensor of the Google car with its side mirror. Another crash was recorded by tech company Delphi Automotive, which was testing an autonomous Audi vehicle that was hit by another car while waiting at an intersection.

Google readily admits that it's still learning in its efforts to develop self-driving car technology. This summer, the tech company will begin testing a new two-seat self-driving car near its headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Meanwhile, Virginia recently joined the list of states that have approved autonomous cars for public roads.

Source: Associated Press

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