Delphi, Google Deny Self-Driving Cars Nearly Collided

Delphi, Google Deny Self-Driving Cars Nearly Collided
Delphi, Google Deny Self-Driving Cars Nearly Collided

Delphi Automotive, an American auto parts maker and engineering lab, and Google have denied a report by Reuters that their self-driving prototype cars had a close call on a Silicon Valley street earlier this week.

On Thursday, Reuters reported that an incident occurred Tuesday on San Antonio Road in Palo Alto, Calif. The report cited John Absmeier, director of Delphi’s Silicon Valley lab and global business director for the company’s automated driving program, who was a passenger in one of the cars, Auto News US reports.

 No Collision Took Place.

In an email to the Los Angeles Times, Delphi spokeswoman Kristen Kinley said “It was not a close call. The vehicles did not come within a lane width of each other.”

In a statement, Google said, “The headline here is that two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario,” according to the Times report.

Absmeier was a passenger in a prototype Audi Q5 crossover vehicle equipped with lasers, radar, cameras and special computer software designed to enable the vehicle to drive itself, with a person at the wheel as a backup.

As the Delphi vehicle prepared to change lanes, a Google self-driving prototype — a Lexus RX400h crossover fitted with similar hardware and software — cut off the Audi, forcing it to abort the lane change, Reuters reported Absmeier as saying.

The Delphi car “took appropriate action,” Absmeier said.

Delphi’s Silicon Valley lab is based in Mountain View, not far from Google headquarters. While Delphi is running two Audi prototypes in California, Google has been testing more than 20 Lexus prototypes.

On Thursday, Google started testing self-driving vehicle prototypes of its own design on local streets. The latest prototypes use the same software as the Lexus vehicles.

Both companies previously have reported minor collisions of self-driving cars with vehicles piloted by people. In most of those cases, the self-driving car was stopped, typically at an intersection, and was rear-ended by another vehicle.

In all cases, the self-driving prototype was not at fault, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the companies.

The prospect of self-driving cars from competing companies hitting each other on the road is negligible, according to the companies producing the hi-tech sensor software. The reason for this is due to car companies using motion detection rather than a WiFi type signal between both vehicles.