Google has just launched a separate website dedicated entirely to its self-driving car technology, and it will be publishing monthly updates from now on to provide a sit-rep on the project's evolution.
Currently, the company has a fleet of 42 self-driving cars at its disposal, with 23 Lexus RX450h SUVs deployed on the streets around Mountain View, and 9 prototype cars still under development, limited to their closed test tracks only.
Over 1 million miles were driven using Google's automated driving technology (dubbed "autonomous mode" in the report), and Google is averaging around 10,000 new miles a week.
The report also delivers a precious nugget of information, more specifically, Google's current road crash report.
Until now, self-driving cars have been involved in a staggeringly low number of twelve traffic accidents in six years, but none of them was caused by an error in the car driving software.
Seven out of the twelve accidents happened in autonomous mode and were caused by other human drivers while in traffic, either by entering the self-driving car's lane or by rear-ending it.
From the five accidents caused by Google's human drivers while the self-driving software was turned off, there are four cases where the car was rear-ended and Google's employee was not at fault.
Can you see a recurring theme here? Apparently, it doesn't matter how precautious and well designed the self-driving car software is if other human drivers keep breaking driving rules and put themselves and others in harm's way.
But there's one more case we left out from the five accidents caused by human drivers. This one occurred in August 2011 and is surely going to put a smile on your face.
Apparently, a Google employee "borrowed" one of the self-driving cars to run an errand, and he managed to crash it into a car stopped in traffic.
No, this is not the plot of a Ben Stiller movie. Someone actually thought it would be "a good idea" to take one of the most expensive cars on the planet and pick up his laundry (or something).
There are two things we can learn from this situation. One: not all Google employees are as smart as we thought they were. Two: Google is one cool place to work at if they let you borrow their multi-million dollar cars.