In February, Google’s self-driving prototype sideswiped a bus while trying to turn right amid sandbags blocking the road. There have been about 17 wrecks involving the self-driving car and this wreck is one where the Google car was labeled at fault. With the bus going 15 miles per hour and the self-driving Lexus RX450h vehicle only going 2 miles per hour, no one was harmed in the accident and the crash was described as minor. The accident occurred in Mountain View and the California-based project leader has already said changes in the software’s algorithm have been made to avoid future accidents.
In each prototype, Google’s self-driving car has two employees present that are trained to intervene to prevent crashes on the road. In this instance, the back-up thought the bus would yield to the car. Google later revealed that in a 2 year span, the back-up drivers had to interfere 13 times to avoid crashes. The question is who is liable for accidents with a driverless car. Is it the car owner, the manufacturer, or the makers of the software inside? Nearly every car on the road has some sort of driver-assisted feature, but there is no template for a completely automated car.