San Francisco has had its first autonomous car accident

It was Leaf versus Prius after the driver took over from the computer

San Francisco saw its first traffic accident involving an autonomous car earlier this month.

It occurred on the afternoon of Jan. 8 when a Nissan Leaf autonomous vehicle operated by Cruise Automation hit a parked Toyota Prius.

The car was in manual control mode at the time, but an account of the incident says it started when the automation computer steered the car incorrectly.

"The vehicle began moving in its lane to the left, then began correcting to the right at which point the driver decided [to] take over manual control," the company said in a report to the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

"After taking over manual control, the operator did not change the path of the vehicle and it collided with an unoccupied Toyota Prius."

The report doesn't say how much time the driver had to correct the car's course before the collision but Kyle Vogt, CEO of Cruise Automation, told IDG News Service the driver was alerted several seconds before the crash.

"There was enough time," he said. "He took over manual control but unfortunately made a mistake."

There were no injuries, but both cars suffered minor damage in the accident, which happened on 7th Street just ahead of the intersection with Bryant Street in San Francisco's South of Market district.

Cruise Automation is developing an after-market highway autopilot system called the RP-1. The $10,000 device works with 2012 and newer Audi A4 and S4 models. The company says it has already presold its initial production run of 250 of the units.

Units were supposed to be delivered in late 2015, but it's unclear if this happened. The company's website still refers to them as yet to be delivered and Vogt declined to comment on whether they had been shipped.

The California DMV requires reports on any accidents on public roads that involve cars in tests of autonomous driving. A handful have been reported since October 2014, the majority involving Google in Mountain View. That's not a surprise, as Google has the largest autonomous fleet and the most aggressive testing schedule.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?