Google to give data on its cars

It dis­closes sum­maries of 12 crashes and vows monthly up­dates on au­ton­o­mous testing.

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT - As­so­ci­ated press

Google said it would re­lease monthly re­ports on the per­for­mance of its self­driv­ing cars and dis­closed sum­maries of the 12 ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing the ve­hi­cles.

Google de­scribed all of the ac­ci­dents as mi­nor, say­ing no in­juries were re­ported. The com­pany said Fri­day, as it has in the past, that the self-driv­ing tech­nol­ogy was not to blame for any of the ac­ci­dents.

In one case, how­ever, an em­ployee used the self-driv­ing car to run an er­rand and rear-ended an­other car that was stopped in traf­fic. Google had pre­vi­ously dis­closed that ac­ci­dent, which hap­pened in Au­gust 2011.

The ad­vo­cacy group Con­sumer Watch­dog has pushed Google to re­lease the ac­ci­dent re­ports, and it said Fri­day that the re­ports them­selves still need to be re­leased be­cause more de­tails are needed and Google is ask­ing the public to take its word.

The As­so­ci­ated Press has asked Google and the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cles for the re­ports. Both have re­fused, cit­ing pri­vacy con­cerns.

Google Inc. started testing the cars in 2009, and the first ac­ci­dent was in May 2010.

The com­pany says six of the ac­ci­dents hap­pened while the car was in au­ton­o­mous driv­ing mode. The other six hap­pened while staffers were driv­ing, in­clud­ing one in­ci­dent in which the car was hit by an­other driver who rolled through a stop sign.

Google says the self-driv­ing car au­to­mat­i­cally ap­plied the brakes when it de­tected the other ve­hi­cle, and Google’s driver took man­ual con­trol once the brakes were ap­plied. The Google ve­hi­cle sus­tained some dam­age.

While sev­eral of the ac­ci­dents hap­pened at low speeds or while the car was stopped, in one case a Google ve­hi­cle was driv­ing 63 miles per hour on a high­way in San Jose when an­other ve­hi­cle veered into its side.

Ac­cord­ing to Google, the cars have been in­volved in four ac­ci­dents in 2015. The Moun­tain View, Calif.-based com­pany says the cars travel about 10,000 miles a week on public streets. The ve­hi­cles have driven about 1 mil­lion miles in au­ton­o­mous mode and Google’s driv­ers have been in con­trol for 800,000 ad­di­tional miles.

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