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NHTSA Finds More Waymo Incidents Than Initially Reported

Key Takeaways

  • NHTSA has found more Waymo robotaxi incidents beyond the initial 22.
  • Waymo’s robotaxis reportedly disobeyed traffic rules and caused collisions with visible objects.
  • NHTSA’s investigation into Waymo came after getting a green light to expand operations in California.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has discovered more incidents involving Waymo self-driving vehicles than in initial reports. In a letter sent by NHTSA to Waymo, obtained by Automotive News, the agency has discovered nine more incidents involving Waymo robotaxis in addition to the initial 22 incidents that prompted a probe earlier this month.

NHTSA has been investigating Waymo for its self-driving taxis that are believed to be showing erratic driving behaviors, including potential traffic violations and 17 collisions. It isn’t clear where the additional nine incidents fell on, but NHTSA stated that the incidents being investigated “involved collisions with clearly visible objects that a competent driver would be expected to avoid.”

Waymo

Investigation Deepens

“Reports include collisions with stationary and semi-stationary objects such as gates and chains, collisions with parked vehicles, and instances in which the (automated driving system) appeared to disobey traffic safety control devices or rules,” NHTSA elaborated in the letter, according to Automotive News. In light of this, the agency sent a series of questions to be answered by Waymo by June 11. The company has also been requested to provide video for all incidents.

NHTSA’s probe follows the approval of the company’s expansion in California in March, which should see increased presence of Waymo-operated Jaguar I-Pace EVs in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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Waymo

Related

GM Cruise Robotaxis Return To Public Streets With Human Backups

General Motors’ Cruise has stumbled in the race to self-driving cars, but public testing of autonomous cars has resumed, at last.

More Robotaxis Are Coming

Robotaxi woes aren’t limited to Waymo. GM Cruise’s previously paused its public testing due to reported incidents, though it recently resumed its operations in Arizona with people working as backups to prevent serious accidents. Meanwhile, Tesla is on its way to introducing its very own robotaxis in a few months, while Amazon-owned Zoox is preparing to offer autonomous vehicles to go with Amazon Prime memberships.

Despite this, the public isn’t exactly receptive to the idea of self-driving vehicles, and rightfully so. One major public backlash from San Francisco residents involved I-Pace EVs being set on fire earlier this year.

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Zoox

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