Fender bender in Arizona illustrates Waymo’s commercialization problem

Enlarge / A Waymo self-driving automobile in Silicon Valley in 2019. (credit score: Sundry Images / Getty)
A police report obtained by the Phoenix New Instances this week reveals a minor Waymo-related crash that occurred final October however hadn’t been publicly reported till now. Here is how the New Instances describes the incident:
A white Waymo minivan was touring westbound in the midst of three westbound lanes on Chandler Boulevard, in autonomous mode, when it unexpectedly braked for no purpose. A Waymo backup driver behind the wheel on the time informed Chandler police that “impulsively the automobile started to cease and gave a code to the impact of ‘cease really useful’ and got here to a sudden cease with out warning.”
A purple Chevrolet Silverado pickup behind the automobile swerved to the appropriate however clipped its again panel, inflicting minor injury. No one was harm.
Total, Waymo has a robust security document. Waymo has racked up greater than 20 million testing miles in Arizona, California, and different states. That is way over any human being will drive in a lifetime. Waymo’s automobiles have been concerned in a comparatively small variety of crashes. These crashes have been overwhelmingly minor with no fatalities and few if any critical accidents. Waymo says that a big majority of these crashes have been the fault of the opposite driver. So it’s extremely attainable that Waymo’s self-driving software program is considerably safer than a human driver.

On the identical time, Waymo is not performing like an organization with a multi-year head begin on probably world-changing expertise. Three years in the past, Waymo introduced plans to purchase “as much as” 20,000 electrical Jaguars and 62,000 Pacifica minivans for its self-driving fleet. The corporate hasn’t just lately launched numbers on its fleet dimension, however it’s secure to say that the corporate is nowhere close to hitting these numbers. The service territory for the Waymo One taxi service in suburban Phoenix hasn’t expanded a lot because it launched two years in the past.Learn 7 remaining paragraphs | Feedback

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