Watch: New video shows Google self-driving car’s collision with bus

10 Mar 2016

Crash image via YouTube

The recent accident between a Google self-driving car and a bus made headlines because it was the first time Google admitted its car was at fault, and now we have footage of the actual incident.

The Google self-driving car is always under intense scrutiny, with every scrape, bump and ding being heralded as supposed evidence that autonomous vehicles will lead to chaotic robotic roads.

Having had thousands of incident-free drives, however, the crash between a Google self-driving car and a bus full of passengers was a first for autonomous vehicle testing as the company admitted in a statement that its software bore “some responsibility” for the incident on Valentine’s Day.

According to the incident report, the Google car was attempting to merge back into a central lane after coming across a sandbag obstacle on the road but, having made the merge, the bus behind the car continued its path without letting the car out.

Not like the film Speed

Having previously been relying on testimony from the Google test driver and the driver of the bus, footage taken from multiple angles by the bus’s cameras now reveals the extent of the incident and, it’s safe to say, it’s rather underwhelming.

Rather than being similar to a scene you might see in the film Speed, the footage shows the bus driver – with sandwich in hand – react with bemusement to the incident with clearly no harm done to anyone on the bus.

In fact, still images taken following the crash show that the self-driving car came off far worse than its larger human-driven counterpart.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic