It was a rare occasion whereby two self driving cars from two different companies meet each other when they were out to be tested on California streets. The scenario happened when Delphi’s self driving Audi was about to do a lane change then it detected that there was Google’s self driving Lexus nearby, most probably on the lane that it was about to change to, and it aborted the operation.
Unfortunately, it was interpreted the wrong way by Reuters and as such, Delphi released a statement saying that it was an anecdote of an interaction, not a ‘near miss’ as misrepresented by Reuters. Google also confirmed that there was no near collision and no one was at fault. On the other hand, Reuters also made a statement that the description was different from Delphi’s original account on Thursday and the company would stand by accuracy of its original story.
It seems that self driving car companies are overly sensitive with the safety records. Google reported 11 minor accidents since they began to test self driving cars back in 2009. Chris Urmson, the program director, mentioned that not one accident was caused by the self driving cars; instead, it was because another vehicle hit the self driving car from the rear side. Delphi, a self driving startup, reported one accident last October. When the accident happened, actually the car was not in self driving mode and it happened when it was about to turn left and was broadsided by another car. However, it was needed to be reported under Californian law.
As of May, there are a total of seven companies with testing permits on the state and operating a total of 48 self driving cars. The other five companies did not report any accidents so far.