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Three self-driving Google cars involved in Phoenix-area crashes

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar, File)

PHOENIX — Three self-driving Google vehicles were involved in a crash in the Phoenix area last month, the internet giant said in a report.

Google said two of the crashes happened while the car was being driven by a person, while the other occurred while the car was driving itself.

No injuries were reported at the scene in any of the crashes.

The first crash happened Aug. 9. Google said its driver was making a left turn from Chandler Boulevard onto Beck Drive when the car was a hit by another driver that allegedly ran a red light.

The second crash was on Aug. 16, when a car under driver control was rear-ended near Ray Road and McKemy Avenue. Google said the other driver was allegedly driving more than 20 mph over the speed limit.

The final crash was on Aug. 22. Google said the car, which was in autonomous mode, was waiting to make a right turn from Desert Breeze Parkway onto Ray Road when it was rear-ended.

Google has been road-testing its self-driving cars in the Phoenix area since April. It has deployed four Lexus SUVs along with human drivers to operate and test the vehicles.

The tests have been relatively safe. Google said its cars have driven millions of miles nationwide and only a few have been involved in a collision.

“Thousands of crashes happen every day on U.S. roads, and nearly all of these collisions involve human error,” Lauren Barrie with Google said in an emailed statement. “We’re developing fully self-driving technology because we want to make our roads safer by taking human error completely out of the equation.”

Drivers can give Google feedback on how the cars behaved on the roads via a website.

Google is not the only company to test self-driving cars in Arizona. Ford began doing so at its facility in Wittman in March, and Uber and General Motors are also using the Grand Canyon State has a testing ground.

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