Last week, engineers broke new ground in the realm of self-driving cars. No, it was not a new advance in software or sensors. Rather, two autonomous cars narrowly avoided becoming the first two such vehicles to display the very human act of cutting one another off.
But then Delphi changed its story. While the initial reports of the incident came to light on Thursday, the tech company then released a followup statement that appears to contradict the initial claim. Delphi says the vehicles, “Didn’t even come close to each other.”
The official who made this statement was in the vehicle when the incident took place, and went on to say, “It was a typical lane change maneuver. No vehicle was cut off and the vehicles didn’t even come close to each other.” This official said that while the vehicle was set to move into the other lane, its sensors acknowledged the presence of the Google car, and terminated the lane change.
This incident could arguably be chalked up as a win for self-driving cars. How many times have you been on a three-lane highway, and made a lane change from the left to the middle lane, just as another car made a move from the right lane to that same spot? Sometimes you don’t catch the other car until the very last minute. If these reports are to be believed, the self-driving tech has proven that it can avoid such incidents, even without a driver behind the wheel.