Two self-driving cars – one from Google and one from Audi – were involved in a close call on the roads of California.
A self-driving Lexus, operated by Google, apparently cut-off a self-driving Audi, operated by Delphi Automotive, as it was trying to change lanes. The Audi was forced to take “appropriate action,” according to a Delphi executive who was travelling in the car at the time.
On the bright side, the two cars didn’t hit one another. This is the first such incident between two self-driving cars, but we may hear of more as they become a more widespread sight on the roads.
This news comes on the same day that Google announced that its purpose-built self-driving cars, nicknamed the “koala cars,” are taking to public roads. These cars drive using the same software that the existing Lexus cars use. So let’s hope they don’t encounter a rival car on the road.
These cars are designed to work without a steering wheel or pedals. But during this stage of the project, a safety driver will ride aboard, equipped with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal to take over the driving if need’s be.
Google’s self-driving cars have had 11 minor accidents since the programme began in 2009. The director of the programme Chris Urmson wrote that not one self-driving car was the “cause” of an accident.