A Waymo self- driving car got involved in a serious crash in Chandler, Arizona this Friday afternoon.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik had spoken about the car’s ablity to avoid crashes recently this March, of which this incident wasn’t a part.
The local police stated that there were major mishaps, rather some minor injuries from the incident after a sedan lurched into the Waymo van to avoid another collision.
Waymo began its self-driving car business in 2009, at that point it was part of Google, according to the company website. A safety report available on Waymo’s website states that “Safety is at the core of Waymo’s mission” and outlines the processes that the company goes through to ensure passenger’s safety.
During the incident, an operator was seated in the driver’s area at the time of crash though the car was on autonomous mode, said the local police.
According to Detective Seth Tyler, the Honda was travelling eastbound and swerved to get way from a third vehicle that appeared, causing the collision. Tyler reported that the Waymo vehicle was moving “at a relatively low speed.”
Tyler also mentioned that in a video posted by KNXV-TV, a person walking in and out of the silver sedan after the crash appeared to have a bandage on their hand.
Moreover the aerial footage and images posted online by the onlookers indicate that this was no fender-bender. The Sedan’s front crumpled zone is shattered and glass is ruptured.
The police update as of Friday afternoon was-
We are currently investigating a minor injury collision involving two vehicles, one of which is a Waymo autonomous vehicle. This afternoon around noon a vehicle (Honda Sedan) travelling eastbound on Chandler Blvd. had to swerve to avoid striking a vehicle traveling northbound of Los Feliz Dr. As the Honda swerved, the vehicle continued eastbound into the westbound lanes of Chandler Blvd. & struck the Waymo vehicle, which was traveling at a slow speed and in autonomous mode. There was an occupant in the Waymo vehicle sitting in the driver’s sear, who sustained minor injuries. Both the Waymo vehicle & Honda were towed from the scene. This incident is still under investigation.
Waymo has also specified with the following statement:
Today while testing our self- driving vehicle in Chandler, Arizona, another car travelling in an oncoming lane swerved across the median and struck our minivan.
Our team’s mission is to make our roads safer- it is at the core of everything we do and motivates every member of our team.
We are concerned about the well-being and safety of our test driver and wish her a full recovery.