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Google announces 3 injuries in self-driving car crash

Readers may have heard that Internet giant and soon-to-be automaker Google has vowed to be more open with the public when its test vehicles get into accidents. This has already led to a series of news stories about collisions involving Google’s self-driving prototypes, perhaps leading some to wonder if such vehicles will indeed eliminate most car accidents as promised.

The latest report appears to be about the most serious Google car crash yet. Three employees were sent to the hospital while riding in one of the company’s vehicles. The three were heading toward an intersection when the car was rear-ended.

According to a blog post from a Google employee that KPIX-TV reported on, the Google vehicle braked normally at the intersection as it was supposed to, giving the driver behind it enough distance to also come to a stop, but the second vehicle failed to do so, though it was only going 17 miles per hour when the crash occurred.

This makes the 11th time that a Google car has been rear-ended. The company’s blog post says that “human error and inattention” has been to blame each time, and argues that this proves that its automated driving system is superior to human motorists.

Google is the single largest tester of self-driving autos in California, with 23 vehicles on the road. A total of 48 prototypes are currently in testing in the state.

Automated vehicles may hold promise eventually, but it is too soon to know how effective they will be in dealing with human drivers, and how much they will reduce injuries and fatalities from collisions.