Uh oh. Google’s driverless car, the self-driving Prius has encountered its first ever accident – according to a photograph sent in to Jalopnik by a tipster who spotted the accident somewhere nearby Google’s Mountain View California headquarters. The photograph shows some people and a police officer observing the damage caused by Google’s vehicle – the car had rear-ended another car, which also happened to be a Prius. Initially thought to be caused by the car’s driving system, Google has come forward with a statement claiming that it was the driver behind the wheel that caused the accident.
In case you weren’t familiar with Google’s driverless project, it is the Prius in black, easily recognizable by the strange looking contraption on top of the car. Launched sometime last year, the driverless vehicle from Google is chockfull of advanced equipment that allows it to drive itself from one destination to another. For safety precautions, a human driver is behind the wheel to override the automated system in case of emergencies.
Because there is no possible way (for us) to tell if it was the fault of the car or the driver, we’ll just have to take Google’s word for it. The car has a bunch of sensors that record everything, so someone knows. But could it be just a cover up story to keep the Google vehicle’s track record blemish-free? After all, an accident would put the reputation of the whole project at stake, and it would be easier to just shrug off the incident as human error. But what caused the driver to crash into the other Prius? I guess we’ll never know for sure. What do you think of self-driving cars? Do you believe they will be the vehicles of the future?