Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is facing one of its most feared problems in Google’s autonomous vehicles. One of the company’s autonomous vehicles was involved in an accident in Mountain View.
Alphabet subsidiary Google has been testing its autonomous vehicle technology in numerous areas including Mountain View. Fortunately for Google, the accident was not caused by the self-driving technology, but rather by human error. One of the Lexus SUV models used in the self-driving tests in Mountain View was hit by a commercial van that ran a red light. The accident was thus a result of human error because the driver of the van did not observe traffic rules.
“Thousands of crashes happen every day on U.S. roads, and red-light running is the leading cause of urban crashes in the U.S. Human error plays a role in 94 percent of these crashes, which is why we’re developing fully self-driving technology to make our roads safer,” stated Google.
The test car was driving itself though there was an observer on board. Fortunately, neither the observer nor the driver of the van was injured. The accident, however, caused significant damage to the side of the vehicle. Google also reported that the Lexus vehicle did not enter the intersection until roughly six seconds after the green light. The company also stressed that failure to observe red lights is one of the major causes of accidents in most cities.
Google claims that the recent accident is the worst accident in which one of its autonomous vehicles has been involved. There have been other accounts where self-driving cars were hit from the back by drivers especially in the winter where vehicles slide even after breaking.
“Given that the average U.S. adult drives around 12,000 miles a year, our self-driving cars have navigated the equivalent of 10 years of human driving in just 31 days,” noted Google.
Alphabet stock closed the recent trading session at $814.96, down by $0.99 or 0.12% compared to the value of the stock in the previous trading session.