Google Robot Car Cuts of Delphi Competitor

Delphi Robot CarOn a California Road in Palo Alto the driver-less cars met – one built by Google, the other by Delphi Automative. The laser-modified, radar equipped Delphi Audi Q5 self-driving car began changing lanes. Abruptly the Google Robot car (Lex RX400h) moved in front of the Audi forcing it to abandon the crossover.

Although the autonomous vehicles have been involved in minor accidents in the past almost all cases found fault with human drivers. However, before now there had never been an instance of a near robot-on-robot collision.

The Delphi car coped well with the incident and took appropriate action”. John Absmeier, Director of Delphi’s autonomous car unit

Delphi recently completed a 3,400 mile cross country journey from San Francisco, California to New York City, New York. During the drive, engineers collected nearly three terabytes of data. The nine-day trip crossed through 15 states and Washington D.C. The software encountered complex driving scenarios – traffic circles, construction, bridges, tunnels, and aggressive drivers. The automotive company doesn’t expect to release its own self-driving car to market anytime soon. Instead, it will seek to sell features to other automakers.

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Google robot car engineers concurred with Delphi, saying reports of a near miss were inaccurate and the cars treated each other as they would any other vehicle.

Google launched a webpage for sharing encounters with the driverless cars. The Google robot car fleet numbers 32 autonomous Lexus SUVs and 9 purpose-built prototypes. Each vehicles reportedly covered more than 1 million miles during testing.

In a published report,  some of the details of accidents involving Google driverless cars is revealed. Driverless cars average 10,000 miles per week on the road. In six years Google’s robot cars covered 1.8 million miles and experienced eight minor traffic accidents. The most serious involves a human driver ignoring a stop sign.

Images from Flicker & Delphi.