So far, Google’s self-driving cars have learned that it’s safer to drive slightly above the posted speed limit and how to honk at bad drivers, but there’s still no cure for the biggest danger on the road—human drivers. People keep crashing into Google’s autonomous test vehicles, and in the latest wreck, the test driver ended up having to get checked over at a hospital.
According to Google’s monthly report, this latest incident occurred on September 23rd. As a Lexus-model autonomous vehicle (similar to the one pictured above) drove through an intersection, a human-driven car ran a red light and T-boned the Google vehicle at about 30 mph.
Both vehicles were damaged significantly, but thankfully no one was seriously injured. The Google test driver did, however, check into the hospital to be evaluated by medical staff. He was later released.
Google says its software detected the other vehicle approaching, and autonomously activated the test vehicle’s brakes. The test driver then disengaged the autonomous driving software and had full manual control of the vehicle at the moment of impact. The Google car was doing 22 mph at the moment of the crash.
Without more information, it’s impossible to determine how this wreck could have been avoided—either by the autonomous software or the human driver. Still, we humans aren’t doing a great job of advocating for our superiority as drivers with all the crashing into self-driving cars we’ve been doing.