Google Street View Car Crash Reported In Michigan While Its Driver-less Cars Nudges Past 2-Million Miles Mark

Oct 06, 2016 04:17 AM EDT | Sovan Mandal

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A Google Street View car is reported to have met with an accident in Grand Rapids, the first images of which has been made available thanks to a keen eyed Reddit user who interestingly goes by the name "Nurse-Patches."

Fortunately, none of them seem to have been injured and hence things remained well clear of the domain of nurses or other medical professionals. The car, it seems, was being driven by a woman driver, though from the images available, there is no way it can be ascertained if the air bags were deployed.

Further, there are no images of the other car or whatever that led to the Street View Car losing its entire front fascia, reported Auto Evolution, nor can it be made out whose fault it was. However, the scene of the accident seems to be an intersection.

It was just a few weeks back that another of Google's automotive ventures, the Google autonomous driving project, had been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. That was when a self-driving Google car had met with what is being considered as its worst crash ever when a van rammed into its sides when on autonomous mode. However, it was the van that had jumped red lights, leading to the crash, Indiatimes reported.

Another crash was reported earlier when a car hit the rear of the Google self-driving vehicle. Though that too was due to human error and was a minor incident, it left the car's sensors at the rear damaged and dilapidated. This in turn has led many to question how tough or expensive it would be to maintain a self-driving car laden with sensors in real life.

Google though continues to test its self-driving cars and has announced crossing the 2 million miles mark in the process, Automotive News reported. That provides the online search giant with an invaluable treasure trove of statistics and data of running a driverless car for that long and that far.

The company stated it is aiming to launch a car that would drive on its own with no human assistance, making it idea for the elderly or handicapped. However, it is yet to announce any firm policy as to how it wishes to implement the program in the real world scenario.

It has also picked up vital clues that further add strength to its artificial intelligence pursuits. As Dmitri Dolgov, head of Google's self-driving program revealed, its cars are now able to react to situations as diverse as say a car making a U-turn or when it sees a wheelchair waiting to cross and so on. Dolgov also had a word of caution about cycles which he said can be quite unpredictable in their movements.

"You get to 90 percent autonomy in 10 percent of the time and then spend 90 percent of your time on the last 10 percent," Dolgov said.

Most other car manufacturers such as Volvo, Mercedes, BMW, Tesla and such are pursuing autonomous driving programs of their own.

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