DMV Finally Releases Self-Driving Cars Accident Reports

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has reversed its policy and today said it would release accident reports about crashes involving self-driving cars that are being tested on public roads. Google is testing the most robot cars on California’s roads.

As of May 15, the most recent data provided by the DMV shows the Internet giant is testing 23 cars and has 180 drivers.

Personal information like the drivers’ names, the car’s VIN number and the insurer is redacted. In one report filed by Delphi, fault was shown to be determined in a police collision report cited in the document.  The other reports involving Google’s vehicles, only gave the company’s synopsis of the crash.

The DMV also requires an annual report of the circumstances surrounding any time the robot technology was disengaged and control was assumed by the test driver. Noting that at least one Google accident report said the test driver assumed control, Consumer Watchdog called for full disclosure of the disengagement reports.

Consumer Watchdog learned that there had been accidents involving Google’s robot cars when the nonprofit nonpartisan public interest group filed a Public Records Act request in March with the DMV seeking communications between Google and the department. However, the DMV then said it treats driverless car accident reports confidentially and would not release them.

After the Associated Press reported there had been crashes with Google and Delphi cars, Google acknowledged its vehicles had been involved in 11 since testing began. The number of Google crashes now stands at 13.

As of May 15, the most recent data provided by the DMV shows the Internet giant is testing 23 cars and has 180 drivers.  Other companies testing self-driving vehicles on California highways are:  VW/Audi, 3 cars, 30 drivers; Mercedes Benz, 3 cars, 12 drivers; Delphi 2 cars, 9 drivers; Tesla, 12 cars, 16 drivers; Bosch 2 cars, 12 drivers and Nissan 3 cars, 18 drivers.  In all there were 48 vehicles being tested and 277 test drivers.

View the six robot car crash reports filed since last September when the DMV began requiring them:  

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