Consumer Watchdog Demands Google Release Its Video of Crash It Caused With Bus

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SANTA MONICA, CA – Consumer Watchdog today demanded that Google release its own video of one of its self-driving robot cars crashing into a transit bus, after the bus company released its video of the incident.

The nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group’s call came after the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority released video of the Valentine’s Day crash to the Associated Press.

“Google undoubtedly has its own — and probably better — video showing how its self-driving robot car crashed into a bus,” said John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project Director. “Google needs to come clean and release their video, as well as all recorded technical details related to the crash.”

View the transit company’s video here:

Consumer Watchdog also reiterated its call to the California DMV to amend its regulations and require that police investigate all self-driving robot car crashes and that video and technical details of the incidents be made public.

“Google is using our public roads as their private laboratory,” said Simpson.  “When something goes wrong, they need to release everything. It’s the morally right thing to do even if it’s not yet required.”

California law requires that self-driving vehicles being tested in the state have a driver behind a steering wheel and brake pedal, capable of taking control when necessary.  The DMV has just proposed regulations covering the general use of self-driving cars in the state, and continues the requirement that a driver be behind the steering wheel capable of taking control.  Google is opposing the requirement.

Consumer Watchdog said that Google’s own test results demonstrate the need for a driver who can intervene.  A required report filed with the DMV showed the self-driving robot car technology failed 341 times during the reporting period.  The self-driving technology could not cope and turned over control 272 times, while the test driver felt compelled to intervene 69 times.


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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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