Two SUVs on a California street try to merge into the same lane at the same time and get too close. Happens all the time.
Except these two vehicles were self-driving cars. And this incident, which occurred in late June in Palo Alto, Calif., gives us a glimpse of the potential of automated driving and the problems that still need to be solved.
Reuters reported that a self-driving Lexus RX400h operated by Google changed lanes, cutting off an autonomous Audi Q5 being tested by supplier Delphi Automotive.
We don't know how close the two vehicles came to a collision. Google and Delphi did their best to get the story out of the news by issuing statements saying the Reuters story was not accurate.
"It was very common driving scenario that frequently happens even with human drivers. Two cars wanting to lane change into the same lane," Delphi spokeswoman Kristin Kinley told me.
"It's no different than you driving in the left lane and you want to move to the center lane but so does the guy in the right lane. You both go at the same time," Kinley said.