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Google blames humans after robot car crashes in California

Google's self-driving car has been involved in yet another accident and the company has said it wasn't the autonomous vehicle's fault.

The car was rear-ended at a crossroads, and the company laid the blame on the human driver behind it.

On Thursday, Google revealed that three of its employees, who had been riding in one of its driverless Lexus cars, were taken to hospital with minor whiplash after a car rear-ended it at traffic lights in Mountain View, California earlier this month, The Telegraph (opens in new tab) reports.

Chris Urmson, who leads the company's driverless car project, said not a single accident had been caused by Google's cars (opens in new tab). However, the vehicles have been involved in 14 accidents in six years and almost two million miles of testing.

"Our self-driving cars are being hit surprisingly often by other drivers who are distracted and not paying attention to the road. That’s a big motivator for us," he wrote in a blog post. "The most recent collision... is a perfect example.

The company even released a video showing how the crash appeared to the driverless car, which uses multiple sensors to scan the environment.

Urmson said the statistics were starting to show that Google's cars were significantly safer than human drivers. In the most recent collision, the car had failed to break at traffic lights, and had hit the back of the Google vehicle at 17 miles per hour.

"Other drivers have hit us 14 times since the start of our project in 2009 (including 11 rear-enders), and not once has the self-driving car been the cause of the collision," Urmson wrote.

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.