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Google’s ‘worst’ self-driving accident was still a human’s fault

‘Our light was green’

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Google said that one of its self-driving cars was involved in an accident in Mountain View, California last week. The accident was first reported Friday by 9to5 Google, which characterized the incident as Google’s “worst accident yet.”

In a statement, Google insisted its driverless car was not at fault. A crash report with the DMV has yet to be posted, so all the details have yet to be confirmed.

According to the Google, the accident occurred when a vehicle heading west on El Camino Real in Mountain View ran a red light and collided with the right side of a Google self-driving vehicle that was traveling northbound on Phyllis Ave. “Our light was green for at least six seconds before our car entered the intersection,” a spokesperson said.

“Our light was green for at least six seconds”

According to 9to5 Google, the vehicle that ran the red light was a commercial van owned by Interstate Batteries, a private company that calls itself “the No. 1 replacement brand battery in North America.” There were no injuries, and all airbags deployed.

It wasn’t the first crash involving a Google self-driving car. The search giant has reported a variety of fender benders in its monthly reports on its autonomous vehicle program. Earlier this year, a Google self-driving Lexus SUV drove into the side of a bus at low speed — the first time one of the company’s vehicles was at fault.

The crash resulted in a more modest tone about the future of self-driving cars from Google. Months later, the robotics expert running the program stepped down, as well as a handful of other engineers. Bloomberg reported Google’s progress has been “slow” as compared to its rivals in the still nascent self-driving car industry.