A world first, but is it a sign of things to come?
A San Francisco motorcyclist is suing General Motors – one of the world’s largest car firms – following a crash with one of its prototype self-driving cars.
The low-speed incident happened on a busy multi-lane road in the city. According to court filings the motorcyclist, Oscar Nilsson, was riding behind an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt electric car, operated by GM subsidiary Cruise Automation.
The self-driving prototype was manned but operating in autonomous mode. When it moved into the left-hand lane, travelling at 12mph according to an accident report, Nilsson began to overtake it. The car then aborted its lane change, moving back into its original lane, now occupied by Nilsson, who was doing 17mph.
The police report on the incident blamed the rider, saying he shouldn’t have been passing on the right. However, it also noted that the Chevrolet’s human overseer tried to grab the wheel and avoid the accident.