One of Google’s self-driving cars was involved in an accident caused by human error.
The accident occurred last month and was recently revealed in the Google Self-Driving Car Project Monthly Report. In the report, the company said 24 Lexus RX450h SUVs and 34 prototype vehicles were on public roads and a total of four accidents happened in September. The most severe of the four accidents took place on September 23, when one of Google’s Lexus-model autonomous vehicles was traveling northbound on Phyllis Avenue in Mountain View in manual mode.
The Lexus went through a green light at the El Camino Real intersection when its autonomous technology detected another vehicle traveling westbound on El Camino Real, approaching the intersection at 30 mph. The autonomous tech began applying the brakes in anticipation that the other vehicle would run the red light. The test driver inside the autonomous vehicle disengaged the self-driving mode and took manual control of the car right before the other vehicle collided with the right side of the Lexus at 30 mph.
At the time of the accident, Google’s self-driving car was traveling at 22 mph and sustained substantial damage to its front and rear passenger doors. Although no injuries were reported at the scene by either party, Google’s test driver voluntarily went to a local hospital where he was evaluated by staff and later released.
In total, Google’s self-driving cars have driven 2,102,047 miles in autonomous mode since the company started testing in 2009. Test drivers inside the vehicles have driven 1,276,157 miles in manual mode. Google said it averages 24,000 to 26,000 autonomous miles driven per week.