PD: Car that hit Waymo minivan in Chandler ran a red light

Ignacio Smith
May 6, 2018

A self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan operated by Waymo, the autonomy subsidiary of Alphabet/Google, was involved in a two-car accident Friday afternoon in Chandler, Ariz.

The autonomous auto development firm is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., Google's parent company, which started self-driving vehicle tests in 2009. In this case a driver was on board and was injured in the accident.

According to Fox 10 Phoenix, a Honda sedan traveling the opposite direction swerved and struck the Waymo vehicle. As the Honda swerved, it entered the westbound lanes of Chandler Boulevard and ended up hitting the Waymo minivan.

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Gov. Doug Ducey then suspended Uber's ability to test self-driving vehicles on roadways in Arizona, specifically citing the fatal crash in his decision. Supposedly, what followed was that the driver of the eastbound vehicle swerved into the opposite lane to avoid a collision with another auto and consequently hit the Waymo van. The Waymo van was reportedly hit by sedan after it swerved into the wrong lane in order to avoid another collision.

In February, Google said that its self-driving cars have driven 5 million miles on public roads since 2009.

The driver of the Waymo minivan, the only person in the vehicle, "sustained injuries which required hospitalization", according to Tyler.

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The Chandler police also said the Waymo van was not the "violator vehicle", ABC 15 News reported.

The incident took place in Chandler, Arizona, one of the cities in which Alphabet-owned Waymo is running trials of its autonomous vehicle technology. It was the first pedestrian death caused by a self-driving vehicle.

Experts noted that the company will have more answers after its technicians analyze the video and the data taken from vehicle's array of sensors and autonomous driving system. Both vehicles have since been towed.

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