That is, at least until now. It seems that recently Google’s self-driving car has gotten into an accident that was completely their fault when they collided into the side of a bus. Thankfully this was a minor accident that left only the vehicles damaged (Google’s front fender, wheel, and sensors were damaged in the process) with its occupants unharmed.
Google has since explained what caused the accident, in which it basically boiled down to assumptions in which both parties assumed that the other would stop and give way to them. “This is a classic example of the negotiation that’s a normal part of driving — we’re all trying to predict each other’s movements. In this case, we clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision.”
They also noted that they have since refined their software to take into account drivers of larger vehicles who apparently are less likely to yield compared to other vehicles. “From now on, our cars will more deeply understand that buses (and other large vehicles) are less likely to yield to us than other types of vehicles, and we hope to handle situations like this more gracefully in the future.”