Google, Delphi Self-Driving Cars Involved in Accidents

May 12, 2015

May 12, 2015—Four out of the nearly 50 self-driving cars in California have been involved in accidents since September, when the state issued permits for companies to test them on public roads.

Three of the crashes involved cars being operated by Google, which has a fleet of 23 self-driving Lexuses, while the other was owned by Delphi.

In two of the accidents, the cars were in control and in the other two, the person behind the wheel was driving. Google and Delphi said their cars were not at fault in any of the accidents, which the companies said were minor and occurred at speeds of less than 10 mph.

Since September, any accident must be reported to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Five other companies have testing permits and they have all reported no accidents.

In a blog post on Monday, the director of Google’s self-driving car program said that its self-driving cars have been involved in 11 accidents in over six years.

In a written statement, Google said that cars have had  “a handful of minor fender-benders, light damage, no injuries, so far caused by human error and inattention.” Google said that some accidents can be expected, given that its cars have gone “the equivalent of over 15 years of typical human driving.”

Three other states have passed laws welcoming self-driving cars onto their roads. Regulators in Nevada, Michigan and Florida said they were not aware of any accidents.

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