Waymo Minivan Involved In Crash While Traveling In Autonomous Driving Mode

One of Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans has been involved in an accident in Chandler, Arizona.

Details are limited but police told ABC15 that a Honda was traveling east on Chandler Boulevard and had to swerve to avoid hitting another vehicle that was traveling north on Los Feliz Drive. As the Honda swerved, it entered the westbound lanes of Chandler Boulevard and ended up hitting the Waymo minivan. Police said the minivan was in autonomous driving mode at the time of the accident and the vehicle had a safety driver who received minor injuries.

Chandler Police Detective Seth Tyler told the Phoenix New Times that the Waymo minivan was not the “violator vehicle” and it “just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.” Tyler went on to say the “The Waymo vehicle was rolling, but I don’t think it was going very fast.”

Ariel footage and photos from Twitter suggest the impact was relatively severe as the Honda has major front end damage and its airbags deployed. Waymo’s van is in slightly better shape as it appears the Honda hit the driver’s side front fender. Regardless of where the car hit, it damaged the minivan’s front bumper, headlight, front fender and driver’s side door.

It remains unclear if the Waymo minivan had any passengers at the time of the collision and Tyler couldn’t confirm whether or not the driver of the Honda suffered any injuries.

While initial reports suggest Waymo wasn’t at fault for the accident, the collision comes just months after a fatal crash involving one of Uber’s autonomous vehicles. In that case, Uber quickly settled with the victim’s daughter and Arizona’s governor suspended the company’s autonomous testing program in the state indefinitely.

H/T to Jalopnik

  • LWOAP

    Welp, these things happen. At least no one got seriously hurt and it’s not like the van could have done anything to avoid it anyway.

  • Jason Miller

    Only making the news because of the van, which wasn’t at fault. Nothing to see here folks.

  • BlackPegasus

    Meanwhile, there were tens of thousands of vehicle crashes all throughout the world today operated by HUMAN drivers. Some were fatal.

    WHERE ARE THE THE BREAKING NEWS STORIES ON THOSE INCIDENTS? 🙄

    • Six Thousand Times

      Really? You think those would be worth the clicks?

  • 40,000 people die every year in the USofAmerica on the roads.
    Would one (general ‘you’) be willing to allow robot cars to reduce that to 20,000 deaths per year?
    Or are robot cars being held to a higher (unreasonable) standard?

    I liken this to I found my friend a cheaper way to buy something recently, and I told him “I know where you can get that for $600 less than you are about to/willing to pay for it. I’ll tell you how to save $600, but you have to agree to give me $300”

    He turned me down.

    What IS IT WITH HUMANS!!!???

  • TheBelltower

    The issue that we are going to have with all of these autonomous vehicles is, they are fine when everything is moving smoothly, but none of these systems appear to be very good at anticipating the unexpected. They are either way too cautious to be worth the effort of using. Or they just hit random obstacles and road hazards. If I weren’t driving my car, and simply let autopilot or some other AP system do everything, I’d constantly hit deer or have to get new tires every week from potholes. Even if the accident wasn’t the car’s “fault,” these systems need to keep us out of these types of situations.

    • Sébastien

      Don’t compare autopilot and waymo, level of autonomy difference is like… 🍊 🍎

      Sh*t just happens, especially with humans around.

      • TheBelltower

        You right. The difference is, Waymo isn’t available to purchase. No comparison.

        • Sébastien

          Their service is… The cars are not. So it’s still something anyone can use in some parts of the world

  • LWOAP

    Nice.

  • Paul

    The story and headline are a bit misleading. How in the Hell does a car “swerve” to avoid another vehicle and then end up near broadsiding the front left fender of a van?

  • Lucas Mattos Azevedo

    I thought about an Ariel Atom, but this is better haha

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