Urmson: Google Involved In 11 Autonomous-Vehicle Accidents Over Six Years

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
urmson google involved in 11 autonomous vehicle accidents over six years

Yesterday, Google said it was involved in three recent autonomous-vehicle accidents on California’s roads. The tech giant since admitted to eight more.

The 11 total accidents occurred over the six-year period Google has been working on autonomous technology with its fleet of over 20 vehicles, Reuters reports, though project director Chris Urmson adds that none of them occurred with the vehicle in a proactive role.

Urmson said seven of the 11 reports involved rear-end collisions mainly on city streets at a traffic light, as well as a couple of instances where the vehicle was side-swiped, and one where a car rolled through a stop sign before striking one of Google’s cars.

The explanation comes as the tech giant and supplier Delphi were found to have been involved in four recent accidents involving autonomous vehicles since California granted such vehicles permission to test on public roads last September, the details of which were kept private due to the state’s reporting laws. Urmson says none of the accidents involved injury, with all vehicles receiving only minor damage from each incident.

[Photo credit: Google]

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  • Carguy Carguy on May 12, 2015

    There really is not enough information here for any informed judgement. What was the ratio of miles driven to accidents? Were the accidents caused by the autonomous cares or did someone else run into them? What was the severity of the accidents?

    • LeMansteve LeMansteve on May 12, 2015

      This is the INTERNET. Get out of here with your reasonable questions! Seriously though, I have the same questions. Not all accidents are created equal.

  • Mr. Orange Mr. Orange on May 12, 2015

    Here we are again with the internet turning a lit match into a raging inferno.

    • See 1 previous
    • Chan Chan on May 12, 2015

      @stephen Those are some pretty poor drivers if they can't see a Lexus RX. Because those are the autonomous cars. These little blobs are not for testing on public roads. One quick glance can already tell you that they don't meet DOT requirements.

  • OneAlpha OneAlpha on May 12, 2015

    I don't think I've ever seen a less-credible-looking car in my life. It's like the message is, "The future is now! And it's lame!"

    • WheelMcCoy WheelMcCoy on May 12, 2015

      "I don’t think I’ve ever seen a less-credible-looking car in my life." It's a prototype and will mostly like be confined to closed communities like campuses and corporate parks. Remember, the Wright brother's prototype didn't exactly look like a credible Cessna.

  • VolandoBajo VolandoBajo on May 14, 2015

    It concerns me that no one is allowed to see the details of the accident reports to determine whether or not we are being given the whole story. And I fear for the day when, perhaps for CAFE or other reasons, they are given the green light for general use when there are still scenarios where they are not able to adequately cope. Good enough by some bureaucrat's influenceable standard is not good enough. As citizens we should have the right to examine the data, debate its meaning, and have the final word on when they will be allowed free rein on our streets. But I am not holding my breath...our leaders have already determined that they know better than we do what is best for us.