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

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

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.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?