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Google self-driving car crash caused by human error - says Google

Google self-driving car crash caused by human error - says Google
Google's autonomous cars have racked up many miles of testing on public roads. Google

(CBS) - One of Google's self-driving cars was involved in a minor car accident Friday near the company's Mountain View, Calif. headquarters, but the search giant says the fender bender occurred when a regular flesh-and-blood human was driving. 

Gawker car blog Jalopnik published photos showing what they describe as "Prius on Prius vehicular violence" and reported that Google's self-driving car "appears to have rear-ended another Prius." Other reports say that the accident wound up being a five-car fender bender.

But Google says we shouldn't blame the software (which was no doubt looking over drivers with loving grace). The company told The Mountain View Voice in an email that the crash was caused by human error: 

"We regret that a Google driver recently caused a minor accident, and we're grateful that no one was hurt...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."

Google's self-driving cars are outfitted with sensors to navigate mapped roads, reports The Mountain View Voice. During Google's ongoing testing of the cars, a driver has been at the wheel, ready to take over if the self-driving systems should fail.

Complete coverage of Google on Tech Talk

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