Waymo Robotaxis Recalled After Dual Collision with Pickup Truck

Z Patel

Last year, Waymo experienced a slight bump in the road when two of its robotaxis in Phoenix collided with the same pickup truck. This prompted the Alphabet subsidiary to recall its vehicles’ software and issue an update to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

What Happened, Possible Cause(s), and Remedies?

On December 11, 2023, one of Waymo’s self-driving vehicles made contact with a pickup truck that was being towed improperly, leading to minor vehicle damage and no injuries. A few minutes later, another Waymo vehicle also came into contact with the same truck.

An investigation by Waymo showed that the software had misjudged the future movements of the pickup truck due to an orientation mismatch between the towed vehicle and the one towing it.

Waymo quickly developed and validated a fix for its software, which it deployed to its fleet on December 20 to prevent similar incidents in the future.

t/f Summary: Looking Ahead

Meanwhile, Waymo’s rival, Cruise, faced a more serious incident last year when one of its robotaxis dragged a person down a San Francisco street. This led to a suspension of its license to operate in California and a pause in all robotaxi operations for a safety review.

Despite the hiccup, Waymo remains on track with plans to test driverless vehicles on highways and freeways in and around Phoenix.

AI technology continues to reshape the future of transportation. While facing challenges, companies like Waymo and Cruise are working tirelessly to ensure the safety and reliability of self-driving vehicles.

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By Z Patel “TF AI Specialist”
Zara ‘Z’ Patel stands as a beacon of expertise in the field of digital innovation and Artificial Intelligence. Holding a Ph.D. in Computer Science with a specialization in Machine Learning, Z has worked extensively in AI research and development. Her career includes tenure at leading tech firms where she contributed to breakthrough innovations in AI applications. Z is passionate about the ethical and practical implications of AI in everyday life and is an advocate for responsible and innovative AI use.
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