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Google: Self-driving vehicles involved in three Chandler crashes in August

Posted at 5:22 PM, Sep 19, 2016

In the last month, Google's self-driving car program has been involved in three crashes, including one involving a suspected drunk driver.

Of the three, only one happened while the vehicle was in "autonomous" mode, the company said. The other two were being operated by human drivers.

On August 9, Chandler police responded to a crash involving one of the Google Lexus vehicles at the intersection of Chandler and Beck.

Police said another vehicle making a left turn hit the SUV as it drove east on Chandler through the intersection. The driver was cited for failure to yield, according to the crash report. Both vehicles experienced moderate damage, Google said, and no injuries were reported at the scene.

A week later, on August 16, a Google vehicle was rear-ended on Ray Road near McKemy Avenue. Police responded just after 9 p.m. and saw a Honda SUV with front-end damage and rear-end damage to the Google SUV.

Police, citing data from Google's equipment, said the Honda was traveling at 66 miles per hour before impact. The driver of the Honda was arrested for DUI, and a passenger in the Google car was later treated for a concussion, police said.

On August 22, Google says one of its cars was driving in autonomous mode when it was rear-ended near Ray and Desert Breeze roads. The vehicle was stopped at a red light and was waiting to make a right turn when it was hit from behind by a vehicle traveling about seven miles per hour, the company said.

The crash damaged the bumpers of both vehicles, and no injuries were reported at the scene, Google said. A Chandler Police Department spokesman said there was no crash report available for the crash on the 22nd.

Google's self-driving cars started traveling Chandler's streets in August, though the company has not said how many are operating in Arizona as opposed to other test cities.