Google car ‘rear-ended’

Co-founder of tech giant Google, Sergey Brin, has revealed that one its self-driving cars was involved in an incident, taking the total number of accidents to 12.

The Telegraph reports that shareholders were informed on Wednesday that one of its automated cars had been rear-ended in the past week, taking the total number involved in collisions since their launch six years ago to 12.

Sergey said he would not release reports of the crashes to protect those involved, but said that ‘seven or eight times we were rear-ended’, while on another occasion a human driving one of the test vehicles rear-ended another car.

‘Our greatest learning is that people don’t pay attention, even trained drivers.’ he said. ‘The other three were situations where the car was not driving itself, we were at a stop light or we were sideswiped.

‘I’m very proud of the record of our cars. We don’t claim to be perfect, our goal is to beat human drivers.’

Sergey also released a letter on Wednesday saying: ‘We hope to make roadways far safer and transportation far more affordable and accessible to those who can’t drive.’

Last month Google reported its vehicles had been involved in 11 accidents in the past six years. The information was released after The Associated Press revealed that Google had notified California of three collisions involving its self-driving cars since September, when reporting all accidents became a legal requirement as part of the permits for the tests on public roads.

Chris Urmson, the head of Google’s self-driving car project, wrote in an online post that all the accidents have been minor – ‘light damage, no injuries’ – and happened over 1.7m miles in which either the car or a person required to be behind the wheel was driving.

‘Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,’ he added.