Prototype vehicles from Google and Delphi Automotive nearly collided on a street in Northern California, a Delphi executive told Reuters. Fred Katayama reports.
They weren't weekend drivers, but two rival self-driving cars had a close call - apparently the first such incident. It occurred Thursday in Palo Alto, California between two prototype crossovers: Google's Lexus RX 400h, and Delphi Automotive's Audi Q5. Delphi's Silicon Valley lab director told Reuters that as its Audi prepared to change lanes, the Lexus cut it off, forcing the Audi to abort the lane change. Delphi says its car took what it called, "appropriate action." No comment from Google. This happened on the very day Google launched tests of its fleet of self-driving cars on local streets instead of restricting them to its campus, saying that its latest prototypes were "ready for the road" with a driver and engineer who can take over if needed. Google is capping speed at 25-miles an hour. Both companies have reported minor collisions involving their prototypes with vehicles driven by motorists. But the companies and the California DMV say the prototypes were never at fault in all of the cases. Wonder if a robocop will respond to future bang-ups.