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A self-steering BMW test vehicle veered into oncoming traffic in Germany on Tuesday, causing a crash that left one dead and nine injured.
A police spokesman in Reutlingen, Germany, says the BMW iX had five people inside at the time of the crash, including one young child. The vehicle reportedly swerved into the wrong lane while going around a corner, glancing off one vehicle before crashing head-on into a Mercedes-Benz van.
The driver of the van, a 33-year-old man, was killed. The driver of the first vehicle, a 70-year-old woman, lost control of her car after the BMW glanced off her. Her car crashed into another vehicle, forcing both cars off the road.
First responders soon arrived and took all five people in the BMW, including an 18-month-old baby, to nearby hospitals.
A BMW emblem is pictured at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in New York City, in this April 2, 2015 file photo. Record sales of SUVs helped German carmaker BMW AG to beat first-quarter profit forecasts, despite slowing demand growth in China. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/Files – RTX1BSDA
The BMW iX electric SUV is testing autonomous steering.
Police say they are still investigating the circumstances of the crash and have yet to interview those involved.
“The crash vehicle was an autonomous electric test car,” police said in a statement. “Whether it was being steered by the 43-year-old (driver) or not is the subject of investigation.”
BMW denied that the vehicle was completely autonomous, however, stating that it only had autonomous steering.
“The vehicle has a level 2 driving assistance system that is already incorporated in production vehicles today and which can support the driver on demand,” the company told the Associated Press. “With level 2 vehicles the driver always retains responsibility.”
“We are in the process of investigating the exact circumstances (of the crash),” BMW added. “Of course we are in close contact with authorities.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.