A Google self-driving Lexus RX 450h was involved in a crash with a van in Mountain View, Calif. on Friday afternoon, according to local police. Another driver ran a red light and crashed into the car. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the accident.
Google issued the following statement with details about the crash:
“A Google vehicle was traveling northbound on Phyllis Ave. in Mountain View when a car heading westbound on El Camino Real ran a red light and collided with the right side of our vehicle. Our light was green for at least six seconds before our car entered the intersection. Thousands of crashes happen everyday 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% of these crashes, which is why we’re developing fully self-driving technology to make our roads safer.”
However, the self-driving car was reportedly manned by a Google employee who took over its operation, and applied the brakes when the other car’s driver began crossing an intersection, apparently running a red light and colliding with Google’s vehicle.
The crash comes just after the U.S. Department of Transportation made some major autonomous vehicle policy announcements earlier this week, as TechCrunch then reported.
Among other things, the DOT called on self-driving auto makers and related technology firms to prioritize safety, and share data with the government and each other within reason.
Google issues reports voluntarily every month reflecting data on the number of miles their autonomous vehicles have traveled, how many cars they have on the road, and details about any accidents in which they were involved.
Generally, DOT officials say they want to ensure the U.S. can be a leader rather than a laggard in autonomous vehicles, while protecting the traveling public.
Updates: This post has been updated with Google’s official statement about the accident. Earlier, the post’s headline was edited to emphasize that a human driver ran a red light and collided with Google’s self-driving vehicle.