Arizona Police Conclude Waymo Car Not Responsible in May 4 Crash
CHANDLER, AZ. – May 4, 2018 (wired.com) An autonomous vehicle was involved in a crash May 4 in Arizona, but police have concluded the car and human driver were not at fault, according to an online report by wired.com.*
Waymo, the autonomous vehicle company owned by Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company), has a fleet of vehicles on the roads of Arizona. The company is currently testing some of its technology with human drivers still aboard and has pushed forward with its business goals, despite high-profile autonomous technology crashes in March. A self-driving Uber car (not affiliated with Waymo) struck and killed a Phoenix pedestrian in March as she was walking across the road with her bicycle. The crash could have stalled self-driving developments, but Waymo was not deterred.
On May 4, one of Waymo’s self-driving cars was involved in an accident in Chandler, Arizona. The Waymo Chrysler Pacifica was not in autonomous mode at the time but was being driven by the human safety driver inside. According to reports from local police, a Honda sedan traveling eastbound on a Chandler road ran a red light, swerved to avoid a northbound vehicle that had the right-of-way, then crashed into the Waymo vehicle in a westbound lane. While data from the Waymo car will provide more information, Chandler Police have already said the Honda driver was at fault in this accident, and the Waymo car was “at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Since the start of its real-life vehicle testing, Waymo cars have driven millions of miles and have caused only one crash. While they have been involved in many more, they have not been at fault in those accidents. Waymo representatives say because of human driving error, many accidents, like the recent one in Chandler, are simply unavoidable for autonomous vehicles.
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