General Motors self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, informed California regulators its vehicles were associated with 6 crashes in the state in September, but stated none of automated vehicles were accountable.
The crashes did not lead to any injuries or severe damage, as per the GM reports, however did demonstrate the obstacles for developers of self-driving cars challenged by crowded urban streets.
A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday authorized legislation that would permit automakers to significantly expand testing of self-driving cars. Some safety groups have criticized the proposal, stating it provides too much latitude to automakers.
The incidents also show the problems of self-driving vehicles that comply with all traffic laws existing together with less cautious human drivers. In overall, GM Cruise vehicles have been associated with 13 crashes reported to California regulators this year, where as Alphabet’s Waymo cars have been associatd with 3 crashes.
California state law requires accidents involving self-driving automobiles be reported, regardless of severity.
Most of the crashes associated motorists of other vehicles striking the GM vehicles that were slowing for stop signs, pedestrian or other problems. In one accident, a driver of a Ford Ranger was on his cell phone when he rear-ended a Chevrolet Bolt that was stopped at a red light.
In another case, the driver of a Chevrolet Bolt saw an intoxicated cyclist in San Francisco going the incorrect direction towards the Bolt. The human driver stopped the Bolt and the bicyclist struck the bumper and fell over. The bicyclist pulled on a sensor connected to the vehicle triggering minor damage.
In another incident on September 15 in San Francisco, a Dodge Charger in the left-turn lane tried to unlawfully pass a Bolt in driverless mode. The GM Cruise worker took control of the vehicle and the Dodge scraped the front sensor and ran away the scene without stopping.
“All our incidents this year were brought on by the other vehicle,” stated Rebecca Mark, spokeswoman for GM Cruise.