Waymo self-driving vehicle involved in non-fatal crash, company blames safety driver

Polycount

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Self-driving cars are getting better, but the industry has faced its share of challenges lately. While some of the issues can be chalked up to human error, both Tesla and Uber have dealt with the fallout of fatal crashes while their autonomous driving systems were engaged.

Now, Waymo, long considered one of the most cautious self-driving companies around, has run into a similar problem. As disclosed by company CEO John Krafcik in a blog post published on Medium, a Waymo self-driving vehicle was recently involved in a "manual collision" that injured a motorcyclist.

Krafcik says the crash was a result of human error, though, unlike the previously-mentioned Uber incident. One of Waymo's safety drivers was driving in Mountain View, California when they noticed a vehicle "abruptly" moving toward their lane.

To avoid a collision, the driver took manual control to switch over to the right lane - however, he or she did not notice that a motorcycle had pulled into the lane just beforehand, resulting in a crash.

In short, Uber is placing the blame for the crash on its driver rather than its self-driving car technology. Indeed, Krafcik went so far as to say had its tech been left to its own devices, it would have avoided the collision by "taking a safer course of action." Specifically, it may have seen both the merging vehicle and the motorcyclist and simply reduced its speed.

Krafcik says the Waymo team is working hard to avoid these situations in the future. "Waymo was founded with the goal to improve road safety, and our mission informs what we do every day," he concluded. "As CEO, I commit that we will continue to always do our best, every day, to earn and keep the trust of the communities that we drive in."

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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
"Krafcik went so far as to say had its tech been left to its own devices, it would have avoided the collision by "taking a safer course of action.""

The safety driver knows the capabilities of these machines, and took over because he calculated it would not react safely - I wouldn't trust it either. I wouldn't blame him, but the company is. They will point fingers at anything but themselves. Has anyone noticed none of these companies have taken on the responsibility of any of these wrecks were their fault? The fact is, had these cars never been on the road being tested, not a single one of these wrecks/deaths would have happened.

Of course, they will assume whatever makes these things look not as worse, they will say as it were pure fact. This sentence is mere speculation on how they thought it might have reacted. They have no idea how it would have actually reacted.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
"Safety driver" = Scapegoat.
Who allows these companies to do testing on public roads and in what way are they liable for all injuries?
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
"Safety driver" = Scapegoat.
Who allows these companies to do testing on public roads and in what way are they liable for all injuries?
So wait, the person who's job is to make sure the car doesn't get into accidents really isn't at fault for an accident? Jeez wiz that's some paradoxical logic.

A scapegoat is someone / thing that take undue blame. Unless you are prove that the driver was not duly at fault as described in the article, all you are doing is stumping supposition.
 
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ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
So wait, the person who's job is to make sure the car doesn't get into accidents really isn't at fault for an accident? Jeez wiz that's some paradoxical logic.

A scapegoat is someone / thing that take undue blame. Unless you are prove that the driver was not duly at fault as described in the article, all you are doing is stumping supposition.
The computer puts them in danger's way, then these corporations point the finger at the "safety driver". No, it's not a paradox. It's clear cut. I'm not understanding your confusion.

Need another clear cut example? Look at the lady that was driven over and killed - without mercy. It didn't even stop. That is called a hit and run. It wasn't until the "safety driver" that hit the brakes. If that human wasn't there, it would have just kept driving away from the scene of the crime. They blamed the "safety driver" even though it was the computer that did it. Yes, scapegoat.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
The computer puts them in danger's way, then these corporations point the finger at the "safety driver". No, it's not a paradox. It's clear cut. I'm not understanding your confusion.

Need another clear cut example? Look at the lady that was driven over and killed - without mercy. It didn't even stop. That is called a hit and run. It wasn't until the "safety driver" that hit the brakes. If that human wasn't there, it would have just kept driving away from the scene of the crime. They blamed the "safety driver" even though it was the computer that did it. Yes, scapegoat.
Did you even read the article? The accident happened when the safety driver enabled manual mode and took control of the vehicle.

You need to stop rushing to the comment section of every self driving article with your rhetoric. Every time without fail and without reading the article.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
Did you even read the article? The accident happened when the safety driver enabled manual mode and took control of the vehicle.

You need to stop rushing to the comment section of every self driving article with your rhetoric. Every time without fail and without reading the article.
Maybe you should actually read the comments than just the last one? If you had bothered, you would see that my original posted quoted the article itself, then a reply to a reply. You have a track record of this when reading my posts with your attacks. If you don't like it, you are free to move along than be butthurt about it. This is called adulting. Good grief.

If you actually read the article, you would easily see it is related.
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Maybe you should actually read the comments than just the last one? If you had bothered, you would see that my original posted quoted the article itself, then a reply to a reply. You have a track record of this when reading my posts with your attacks. If you don't like it, you are free to move along than be butthurt about it. This is called adulting. Good grief.

If you actually read the article, you would easily see it is related.
Personal attacks are not a substitute for an argument.
 

Capaill

TS Evangelist
So wait, the person who's job is to make sure the car doesn't get into accidents really isn't at fault for an accident? Jeez wiz that's some paradoxical logic.

A scapegoat is someone / thing that take undue blame. Unless you are prove that the driver was not duly at fault as described in the article, all you are doing is stumping supposition.
Sorry, that came out wrong. What I meant was that the company is putting the safety driver in, just so that they have the excuse to blame him for anything that happens. Yes, in this case, the collision with the motorcyclist was his fault but who knows what would have happened if he wasn't there and then who/what would the company blame?
 
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Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
Sorry, that came out wrong. What I meant was that the company is putting the safety driver in, just so that they have the excuse to blame him for anything that happens. Yes, in this case, the collision with the motorcyclist was his fault but who knows what would have happened if he wasn't there and then who/what would the company blame?
They put the safety driver there because they know something could go wrong. That's not the company scapegoating, that's it admitting the current state of driverless cars and seeking to prevent issues.