One Dead, Nine Injured After Self-Driving Car Veers Into Traffic

29 September 2021, Bavaria, Garching: A range indicator is seen in the fully digital instr
Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) – Police in Germany said Tuesday that one person has died and nine were seriously injured after a self-driving test car veered into oncoming traffic, triggering a series of collisions involving four vehicles Monday afternoon.

A spokesman for police in the southwestern town of Reutlingen said the electric BMW iX with five people on board, including a young child, swerved out of its lane at a bend in the road and into incoming traffic, brushing an oncoming Citroen.

The BMW then hit a Mercedes-Benz van head-on, resulting in the death of a 33-year-old passenger in that vehicle.

Meanwhile, the 70-year-old driver of the Citroen lost control of her car and crashed into another vehicle with two people on board, pushing it off the road and causing it to burst into flames.

Reutlingen police spokesman Michael Schaal said four rescue helicopters were involved in the medical response and the injured were taken to several hospitals in the region. They included the 43-year-old driver of the BMW, three adults aged 31, 42 and 47, and a 18-month-old child who were all in the test vehicle.

Schaal said police hadn’t yet had an opportunity to interview those involved in the crash. It was unclear whether the 43-year-old driver at the wheel of the BMW test car was actively steering the vehicle at the time of the crash or whether it was traveling autonomously, he said.

BMW didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

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