Delphi denies its driverless car had close encounter with Google's

A spokeswoman for Delphi Automotive has said that the two self-driving cars "didn't even come close to each other"

Alexandra Sims
Monday 29 June 2015 09:42
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A Delphi official said that the car “took appropriate action, as it is programmed to do”
A Delphi official said that the car “took appropriate action, as it is programmed to do”

Delphi Automotive have denied that that one of its prototype self-driving cars and a self-driving car operated by Google had a close encounter on a Californian road on Tuesday, saying that “the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other".

The description of events differed from Delphi’s original account of the incident by a company official who was a passenger in the Delphi vehicle.

At the time, the official told Reuters news agency that a Google self-driving car “cut off” a Delphi self-driving car that was about to make a lane change. The incident which occurred in Palo Alto was initially reported as a “close call” by Reuters on Thursday, however no collision took place.

A Delphi official said on Thursday that to avoid the Google car, the Delphi car “took appropriate action, as it is programmed to do.”

“The vehicle’s sensors recognized the presence of the Google car. Aborted its move, waited for the Google car to finish its manoeuvre, then completed its own lane change."

On Friday, a Delphi spokeswoman added that the Delphi car had seen the Google car move into the lane that it was planning to enter. The Delphi car detected “that the lane was no longer open” so it “terminated” the lane change. According to the spokeswoman the cars were about a lane width apart.

She said: “During a recent visit with Reuters, our Delphi expert described an actual interaction that we encounter all the time in real-world driving situations. In this case, it was a typical lane change manoeuvre. No vehicle was cut off and the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other. Both automated vehicles did exactly what they were supposed to do.”

Google, who declined to comment on the story on Thursday, issued a brief statement on Friday saying “two self-driving cars did what they were supposed to do in an ordinary everyday driving scenario.”

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