You can now watch the video of Google’s self-driving car slowly hitting a city bus
March 10, 2016
Shah Sheikh (1294 articles)

You can now watch the video of Google’s self-driving car slowly hitting a city bus

In late February, Google disclosed that one of its self-driving cars hit a city bus in the company’s hometown of Mountain View, California.

It was the first accident that Google truly had to blame on its autonomous car software.

The car was only going 2 miles per hour, though, so it wasn’t exactly a slam-bang of an accident.

Today, the Associated Press managed to get the Mountain View transit authority’s footage from the bus’ onboard camera. For reasons still unknown, that video was taken down Wednesday afternoon, but a copy of the footage was posted on the service Liveleak.

Note that the passengers barely even register the collision. You can sort of see the car bump the side of the bus at around 5 seconds in. Blink, and you’ll miss it.

Here’s a gif of the moment of impact, via Brad Sams on Twitter:

Passengers react at around 13 seconds in, before the surprised driver evacuates the bus.

The Google car, a modified Lexus SUV, was traveling at less than 2 mph, and the bus was moving at about 15 mph. There were no injuries reported at the scene, although the Google car did damage its front left fender, wheel, and one of its sensors, as you can see at the end of the video.

While approaching the intersection of El Camino Real and Castro Street in Mountain View, the car stopped to avoid some sandbags around a storm drain. When it tried to merge back into the left lane, it struck trouble.

“After a few cars passed, the Google AV began to proceed back into the center of the lane to pass the sand bags,” reads a report by California’s DMV about the incident.

It continued:

A public transit bus was approaching from behind. The Google AV test driver saw the bus approaching in the left side mirror but believed the bus would stop or slow to allow the Google AV to continue. Approximately three seconds later, as the Google AV was reentering the center of the lane it made contact with the side of the bus.

Google’s self-driving cars are currently prototypes that the company is testing, and they are not available to the general public. A spokesperson with the Valley Transportation Authority says that there was only minor damage to the bus.

The accident closely follows a big win for Google. US regulators decided in February that the artificial-intelligence system controlling its car counts as a “driver.”

At the time the incident was disclosed, Google said in a statement to Engadget that “we clearly bear some responsibility” for the accident.

Source | BusinessInsider