Google admits its self-driving cars have been involved in 11 accidents

Google has admitted that its self-driving cars have been involved in 11 minor accidents while out on the road in the US, but stressed that the incidents were not the fault of the technology.

Google: First Drive self-driving car video
Google: First Drive self-driving car video

The search giant, which has been trialling and developing self-driving vehicles for six years, said all the accidents were minor, with "light damage" and "no injuries".

The news follows a report in The Associated Press that claimed Google had notified California of three collisions since September involving its self-driving cars.

Chris Urmson, who heads up self-driving cars at Google, said in an online post that "not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident".

Urmson wrote: "If you spend enough time on the road, accidents will happen whether you’re in a car or a self-driving car.

"Over the six years since we started the project, we’ve been involved in 11 minor accidents (light damage, no injuries) during those 1.7 million miles of autonomous and manual driving with our safety drivers behind the wheel, and not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident."

Five other companies in the process of trialling self-driving technology told Associated Press that they had not been involved in any accidents.

Google has kitted out 23 Lexus SUVs with the technology and is testing them on the roads of California.