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Self-driving Google SUV crashes into a bus
Self-driving Google SUV crashes into a bus during road test
A self-driving car being tested by Google struck a public bus on a city street, a fender-bender that appears to be the first time one of the tech company's vehicles caused an accident.
The collision occurred on Valentine's Day and Google reported it to California's Department of Motor Vehicles in an accident report that the agency posted Monday.
The car was rolling at 2 mph and the bus at 15 mph. No one was injured.
The report does not address fault. However, Google wrote that its car was trying to get around some sandbags on a street in Mountain View, California, when its left front struck the right side of the bus.
The car's test driver — who under state law must be in the front seat to grab the wheel when needed — thought the bus would yield and did not have control when the collision happened, according to Google's report.
If it's determined the Google vehicle was at fault it would be the first time one of its SUVS caused an accident while in autonomous mode.
DMV spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said the agency hoped to speak with Google on Monday about what went wrong.
A Google spokesman did not have immediate comment.
Google has been testing two dozen Lexus SUVs outfitted with sensors and cameras near the tech firm's Silicon Valley headquarters.
Google cars have been involved in more than a dozen collisions.
In most cases, Google's cars were rear-ended. No one has been seriously injured.
Google did not immediately comment on the recent crash and there has been no official determination of fault in the crash.
It has previously said that its autonomous vehicles have never been at fault in any crashes.
The Mountain View Police Department said that no police report was filed in the incident.
Stacey Hendler Ross, spokeswoman for the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, which operates municipal buses in Mountain View and other cities in the area, confirmed the incident occurred, but said she did not know any details.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles said on Monday that manufacturers of autonomous vehicles must report crashes, but 'the DMV is not responsible for determining fault.'
A spokesman for the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration declined to comment.
The crash comes as Google has been making the case that it should be able to test vehicles without steering wheels and other controls.
In December, Google criticized California for proposing regulations that would require autonomous cars to have a steering wheel, throttle and brake pedals when operating on public roads. A licensed driver would need to be ready to take over if something went wrong.
Google said in November that in six years of its self-driving project, it has been involved in 17 minor accidents during more than two million miles of autonomous and manual driving combined.
'Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,' Google said at the time.