California DMV to release accident reports involving autonomous cars

California DMV to release accident reports involving autonomous cars

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has decided to publish accident reports involving autonomous vehicles.

The agency last year began requiring automakers to submit reports for any crashes involving self-driving technology, however the records were not made available to the public.

Under pressure from critics interested in scrutinizing the safety of autonomous vehicles, the DMV has changed course and decided to release the records. Details of the accident scenarios is included in the public reports, but personal identifying information, such as drivers’ names or VINs, remains redacted to protect the privacy of involved parties.

“It took too long, but the DMV is now getting right,” said Consumer Watchdog privacy director John M. Simpson in a blog post. “The robot cars are being tested on public roads and people have a right to know as much as possible about what goes wrong.”

Google’s fleet of self-driving vehicles has been involved in a dozen accidents, but none have been at fault when operating autonomously. The search giant has logged more than a million miles in its modified Lexus crossovers, and its tiny two-seaters are now testing on public roads around Mountain View, California.

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