SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California officials have released reports on six accidents involving self-driving car prototypes.
The disclosure comes after The Associated Press argued to the Department of Motor Vehicles that the agency was improperly withholding the information. The reports found that most of the cars were in self-driving mode at the time of the accidents, and the other driver caused the collision.
“We need to know what’s happening with these vehicles. They’re out there being tested on public roads. People need to know what goes wrong,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director.
Personal information like the drivers’ names, the car’s VIN number and the insurer is redacted.
Simpson said the public should also have access to another series of reports due from the companies developing the cars.
“There’s some more information that has to be disclosed and that is, they are going to have to issue annual reports to the DMV about every time they had to disengage the auto driving technology and have the human driver take control,” Simpson said.
Consumer Watchdog learned that there had been accidents involving Google’s robot cars when the nonpartisan public interest group filed a Public Records Act request in March with the DMV seeking communications between Google and the department.
In all, 48 vehicles are being tested on California’s roads. As of May 15, the most recent data provided by the DMV shows Google is testing the most, with 23 cars being tested.
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