Self-Driving Cars From Rival Companies Have A Close Call In California Traffic



UPDATE: A spokeswoman for Delphi who was also in the car at the time of the previously reported “near miss” between her company’s car and a Google prototype says things didn’t go down quite like the story made it seem.

“I was there for the discussion with Reuters about automated vehicles,” she told Ars Technica. “The story was taken completely out of context when describing a type of complex driving scenario that can occur in the real world. Our expert provided an example of a lane change scenario that our car recently experienced which, coincidentally, was with one of the Google cars also on the road at that time. It wasn’t a ‘near miss’ as described in the Reuters story.”

She says it was just another normal situation any car could encounter — and things couldn’t have gone better.

“Our car did exactly what it was supposed to,” she says. “Our car saw the Google car move into the same lane as our car was planning to move into, but upon detecting that the lane was no longer open it decided to terminate the move and wait until it was clear again.”

A Google spokeswoman chimed in as well, telling Ars: “The headline here is that two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.”


Just yesterday, Google’s latest self-driving car models hit the streets of Mountain View, CA. But there have already been some bumps in the road, as a new report says a self-driving Google car had a near miss in traffic with another driverless vehicle this week.

An executive with Delphi Automotive PLC told Reuters that he was a passenger in a self-driving prototype from his company on Tuesday, when a Google driverless vehicle cut it off on the road. No contact was made between the two cars.

The director of Delphi’s Silicon Valley lab and global business director for the company’s automated driving program said he was in a prototype Audi Q5 crossover vehicle equipped with lasers, radar, cameras and special computer software, with a person at the wheel as backup. While the car was preparing to change lanes, he says a Google prototype — a Lexus RX400h crossover with similar technology — cut off the Audi, prompting it to cancel the lane change.

He says the Delphi car “took appropriate action.”

Google declined to comment.

This is likely the first such incident to have been reported between two self-driving cars, though Google issued a complete list of all incidents its driverless vehicles have gotten into with cars piloted by people since the company started testing the cars on the open road. In all of those collisions, the self-driving car was not at fault.

Two rival self-driving cars have close call in California [Reuters]

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