Google Self-Driving Car Gets Hit by Red-Light Runner, Shows Us Why We Need It

Lexus RX used by Google as self-driving car, right after accident 4 photos
Photo: Ron van Zuylen/ @grommet on Twitter
Self-driving Lexus RX450h from Google's fleetSelf-driving Lexus RX450h from Google's fleetLexus RX used by Google as self-driving car, right after accident
Google’s self-driving cars have seen their share of accidents, but the most recent impact took place this weekend and was also the worst they encountered.
A Lexus RX450h used by Google in its fleet of self-driving cars was struck in Mountain View, California, after a human driver ran a red light. Google’s representatives stated that the light had been green for six seconds when their car entered the intersection, and we are sure they have video footage to back up that claim.

Fortunately, the accident did not leave any people injured, which is a stroke of luck in the case when someone runs a red light at an intersection of any kind.

The other driver was operating a white van, which can be spotted in the top photo of this story, and the damage it sustained was severe enough to require a trailer. White vans are known internationally for their performance capabilities, exceeded only by rental cars.

As you can observe in the tweet embedded below and in the photo at the top of this article, the Lexus was struck on its right side, and the impact was concentrated on the passenger door, but its rear door was also hit, as was the side skirt. The curtain airbag on the right side has been deployed, so this impact was severe enough to trigger the safety element.

After explaining that its car was not at fault in this incident, Google representatives spun this accident into their favor, as one would expect from a company that has had something unfortunate happen to their products.

Google explained that this is the reason why they develop self-driving cars, and that their products and similar vehicles would never perform this kind of driving error.

Google tests its self-driving car fleet in Mountain View, Austin, Phoenix, and Arizona. Two months ago, the fleet drove a total of 170,000 miles. As Digital Trends noted, 126,000 of those miles were driven autonomously.


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About the author: Sebastian Toma
Sebastian Toma profile photo

Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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