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Google's self-driving cars involved in 12th accident

The autonomous vehicle was rear-ended by another driver, though Google still refuses to divulge any of the full accident reports.

Google has acknowledged a 12th accident involving its fleet of self-driving vehicles.

The experimental car was rear-ended by another motorist when stopped at a traffic light. It is unclear if the vehicle was one of Google's modified Lexus crossovers or its own cars, designed in-house, that have recently begun testing on public roads.

The accident was disclosed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin during a question-and-answer session at a shareholder meeting. The executive was responding to calls for more transparency, though the company still declines to disclose the full accident reports.

"I suppose we could give more detail, and we're open to that," Brin told Consumer Watchdog's John M. Simpson.

Google has defended the safety record of its self-driving vehicles, claiming that none have been at fault in any accidents while driving in autonomous mode. Only one of the dozen accidents has been to blame in a crash, and only when the human driver was directly operating the vehicle.

Consumer Watchdog is more concerned about the potential privacy implications of data collection in the autonomous vehicles once they are ready for the public. The advocacy group has called on Google and state legislators to restrict data usage to just operating the vehicles, and not for marketing or other purposes.

Google fears that any restrictions "would in a lot of ways reduce innovation and our ability to deliver a great consumer product," said chief legal officer David Drummond.

The program is still in its infancy at Google, and any public product launch is at least several years away.

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