From Jalopnik (Click the link for exciting photos of people standing around and more of the story):
By Justin Hyde Aug 5, 2011 11:45 AM
This is Google’s first self-driving car crash
This photo of what looks like a minor case of Prius-on-Prius vehicular violence may actually be a piece of automotive history: the first accident caused by Google's self-driving car. Whose name should the cop write down on the ticket? UPDATE!
Sent in by a Jalopnik tipster, the photos were snapped earlier this week near Google's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. The Prius — recognizable as a Google self-driving prototype from the roof equipment that's smaller than a typical Google Streetview image collector — appears to have rear-ended another Prius.
Google released a statement to Business Week:
A Google spokesperson gave us this quote about the accident: "Safety is our top priority. One of our goals is to prevent fender-benders like this one, which occurred while a person was manually driving the car."
Ironic that the car got in an accident while being manually driven. Maybe they should have stuck to letting the robot control things.
Somewhat related, Patrick Smith at Ask the Pilot pushes back on the widely held beliefs that planes generally fly themselves here. Smith's point is that there will be lots of human control on vehicles (planes, in his case) for the foreseeable future.