Google‘s self-driving Lexus 450h SUVs getting in minor accidents are not a new thing, but the latest incident appears to be the worst one yet. The vehicle sustained serious damage after it was hit directly on its right side by another car when it entered an intersection in Mountain View, California. The Google car was in autonomous mode at the time, but with a human behind the wheel, and thankfully there were no injuries to either party.
While this appears to be the worst accident yet involving one of Google’s self-driving cars — previous incidents have been little more than fender-benders — it’s still another case where the other human-operated vehicle is clearly at fault. This time it was a commercial van that entered the intersection while it had a red traffic light. The photo above reveals the damage sustained by the Google SUV, with the front right door completely caved in, while the van that hit it can be seen in the background, getting loaded onto a tow truck.
Google released a statement, explaining that its autonomous car had been facing a green light for a full six seconds before it began to enter the intersection. While the SUV had been driving itself, the Google employee inside immediately took over and applied the brakes when they saw the other vehicle run its red light.
While Google’s cars don’t have a completely clean record — the first at-fault accident took place earlier this year when a Lexus SUV made contact with a bus — nearly every previous incident has been caused by a human driver. Google continues to mention the point that 94% of urban car accidents like this are the result of human error, and that the whole point of its self-driving tech is to make the roads safer.