However many eyes on the road Google’s Street View cars have it’s not enough to compensate for the human element: one of the search giant’s roving vehicles has been involved in a series of car crashes in the Indonesian city of Bogor.
The incident began when the driver of the Street View car (a Subaru hatchback outfitted with Google's livery and a special camera on the roof) crashed into a public minivan.
"He did accompany the minivan driver to the garage, but he said he was scared the repair fee would be high, so he got in his damaged car and fled," said, Bogor district police operations chief Hendra Gunawantold to the AFP.
The minivan driver then gave chase for two miles before the Google car hit a second minivan. "He tried to flee again, but soon crashed into a parked truck before he gave up," said Gunawan.
It’s not known whether anybody was hurt during the incident, though eyewitness pictures posted to an Indonesian website show that the crash was not too serious, at least in terms of damage to the car. Gunawan noted that the repairs would cost around 200,000 rupiah (or $17.50) to repair.
Vishnu Mahmud, head of communications for Google in Indonesia, told news agency AFP that the company takes “incidents like this very seriously” and that they are “working closely with local authorities to address the situation.”
Google's Street View vehicles (they have quite a selection, ranging from trolleys to the 'Trekker') usually seem to go about their business pretty serenely, but with all those cameras its no surprise that their scrapes are more visible than most.
Earlier this year Google had to explain a series of images from their Street View car in Botswana that seemed to show a donkey knocked down by the vehicle. Fortunately, Google pointed out that subsequent pictures showed the animal on its feet and suggested that it had merely been taking a dust bath in the middle of the road.