Three crashes so far with Google self-driving cars in Chandler

Google autonomously driven cars have been rolling in Chandler, AZ for a couple of months now.

There was a fairly long story in the AZ Republic today, Three crashes so far with Google self-driving cars in Chandler

Three crashes in a month seems like a lot, though none implicated autonmous driving mode — all three involved poor (human) drivers.

The incidents according to the story:

  • Aug 16, 2016: A suspected impaired driver rear ended the Google car on Ray Rd near McKemy. The google car was traveling in autonomous mode at 42 vs. a speeder going 67mph. The story doesn’t bother to tell us the name of the allegedly impaired, criminally speeding driver, nor if he was charged, or anything.
    Poor reporting, Ryan Randazzo
  • Aug 9, 2016: A westbound Google driver NOT AUTONOMOUS) Chandler Boulevard attempting to make a left at the light at Beck Drive. According to google (and I would be willing to bet, backed up by all sorts of recording in the google car!) the driver turned left AFTER THE LIGHT TURNED RED when he was struck by a through driver RUNNING THE RED LIGHT. Somewhat incredibly, the Chandler police report has that upside down, preferring to accept the thru driver’s story (without any evidence, i’m sure) that the light was yellow.
    Bad job, Chandler Police Dept; “Google driver was issued a citation for failure to yield. ‘Case closed,’ said the (crash) report”. I also took this to mean not only was the google driver assigned fault for the crash, the driver who ran the red light wasn’t even cited.[oops, update, see comment below. I may have to retract my criticism of CPD… we’ll see. Upon re-reading the news story, they didn’t actually relate the google driver’s story, on the straight thru driver, which seems odd; or maybe an oversight.]
  • “Aug. 22, another Google Lexus, operating in autonomous mode, was rear-ended on Desert Breeze Road in Chandler while it was stopped at the intersection with Ray Road“.
    Crappy driving, whoever you are.

 

3 thoughts on “Three crashes so far with Google self-driving cars in Chandler”

  1. A few years ago I was hit by a red light runner. No cop or witnesses to the accident so no citation. Case went to litigation and they won! I no longer believe accident reports when I see them no matter how obvious they look. All must be examined with a grain of salt.

  2. That’s one of the reasons i like photo-red-enforcement 😉

    It’s of course true that people will lie, or at least “mis-remember” events. Eye-witnesses are notoriously unreliable. Couple that with a propensity for drivers who cause crashes to lie or mis-remember in their favor and there you have it.
    Check out this red-light fatality: http://azbikelaw.org/commuter-cyclist-killed-in-tempe/
    Note that the crash report *does* say the driver who killed the bicyclist ran a red; the city prosecutor decided they couldn’t prove it.
    Keep in mind criminal charge (even a minor one, killing someone by running a red light is a minor criminal charge) must be proven to the higher standard, compared to a simple, civil traffic ticket.

  3. I read the police report related to the left turn. All four individuals involved, two in the Google vehicle and two in the other vehicle, said the light was yellow. Even if the other driver did run a red light the Google driver would still be cited based on how the AZ law is written (azbikelaw.org/who-is-at-fault-in-a-left-turn-collision). The civil traffic hearing is on Oct 4th at 3:30 PM at the Chandler Municipal Court Rm #5. It will be interesting to see what kind of information Google provides from the vehicle.

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