Google will now tell the world when its driverless cars get into an accident. The search giant has launched a website dedicated to its automated vehicles to provide information on any accidents in which Google’s driverless cars are involved.
However, the monthly reports won’t provide information on the human drivers required to ride along in the cars. The move is a reversal of Google’s previous stance of not releasing accident reports for its driverless cars and comes just days after Google co-founder Sergey Brin defended the policy, Cnet reported.
"We don't claim that the cars are going to be perfect. Our goal is to beat human drivers," Brin said. "Nothing can be a perfect vehicle. I just wanted to set that expectation."
Since the project started in 2009, Google's vehicles have been involved in 12 minor accidents, the company said. And its vehicles were not at fault in any of them.
Aside from accident data, Google also will provide additional data, including how its driverless cars react to certain situations, how many miles the vehicles have driven and how many are currently in its fleet. For example, Google details in its May report how its cars can track multiple objects and actively yield to emergency vehicles and cyclists.
As of May, Google has 23 of its Lexus RX 450h self-driving cars on public streets, primarily in Mountain View, California. Its nine prototype vehicles are currently being tested on closed tracks. The in-house designed vehicles are to hit the road soon, but they will be limited to 25 mph.
Since the project started, Google’s self-driving cars have logged more than 1.8 million miles. More than half those miles were in automated mode. The remainder of miles logged were driven under the manual control of human drivers.