But the situation isn't what you'd think.
Not long ago, a self-driving Uber Volvo XC90 was involved in a fatal accident while out for a test drive in Tempe, Arizona. While the cause(s) for the crash are still being investigated, we’ve learned another autonomous vehicle crash has taken place, only this time it involved a Waymo Chrysler Pacifica. According to ABC15, the incident took place in Chandler, Arizona last Friday. But unlike the Uber incident, this time it was not the Waymo vehicle’s fault.
A silver Honda Civic was traveling eastbound on Chandler Boulevard when it served in order to avoid another vehicle. This caused the Honda to go into the westbound lanes on the same street – and directly into the Waymo Chrysler Pacifica’s path.
At the time of the crash, the Waymo vehicle was in autonomous mode, but there was also an operator behind the wheel who sustained light injuries as a result of the crash. So why isn’t this self-driving vehicle crash making national headlines? Well, that’s simple: because nobody died and the test vehicle in question was not the reason for the crash. If anything, this incident (and countless more like it) could be used as further proof self-driving vehicles are needed. That Honda Civic swerved into the wrong lane (with incoming traffic) due to human error. In the case of the tragic Uber Volvo XC90 incident, it was a situation where a pedestrian attempted to cross a busy street at night.
Should the self-driving Uber have been capable of stopping in time? That’s what’s being investigated right now. But in the case of this Waymo crash, it was, without a doubt, a human driver error.