Germany: Test car with autonomous steering capability slams into traffic killing one, injuring 9


Germany: A test car with autonomous steering capability veered into oncoming traffic in Germany, one person was killed, and nine others were wounded, according to police officials.

This incident took place on Tuesday. A spokesperson for police officials in the southwestern town of Reutlingen mentioned the electric BWM iX with five people on board, including a young child, swerved out of its lane at a bend in the road, triggering a series of collisions involving four cars Monday.


Moreover, after brushing an oncoming Citroen, the BWM hit a Mercedes-Benz van head-on, which resulted in the death of a 33-year-old passenger who was inside the vehicle at that time.

The driver, 70, of the Citroen lost control of her vehicle as well as crashed into another vehicle with two people on board, pushing it off the road and causing it to burst into flames.

In addition, Reutlingen police spokesman Michael Schaal mentioned four rescue helicopters, dozens of firefighters responded to the incident, and the injured were taken to several regional hospitals. They included the 43-year-old driver of the BMW, three adults aged 31, 42 and 47, as well as an 18-month-old young one who was all in the test vehicle.

Schaal mentioned in the statement police had not yet had an opportunity to interview those involved in the crash.

“The crash vehicle was an autonomous electric test car,” police highlighted in a statement. “Whether it was being steered by the 43-year-old or not is the subject of investigation.”

BMW confirmed that one of its test vehicles was the part of one of a crash near Reutlingen but refused that the vehicle was fully autonomous.


The company asserted, “The vehicle has a level 2 driving assistance system that is already incorporated in production cars today as well as which can support the driver on demand. With level 2 vehicles, the driver always retains responsibility.”

BMW added that the car was required to be marked as a test car for data protection purposes as it was recording footage.

“We are in the process of working on the exact circumstances of the incident. Of course, we are in close contact with authorities,” BMW stated.

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