Waymo issues driverless recall after double collision with lorry

Google’s driverless vehicle sister company Waymo has announced it has voluntarily filed a recall report with America’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for software that was previously on its fleet, after two cars crashed with the same lorry in Phoenix, Arizona last year.

Waymo says it has chosen to issue the recall after consultation with NHTSA and our its internal review of two incidents that occurred in what it calls “a rare scenario” on 11 December which resulted in no injuries and minor vehicle damage. It says its entire fleet was updated with software to address this issue and that its ride-hailing service is not and has not been interrupted by this update.

In a statement the company says a Waymo vehicle made contact with a backwards-facing pickup truck being improperly towed ahead of the Waymo vehicle “such that the pickup truck was persistently angled across a centre turn lane and a traffic lane”.

Following contact, the tow truck and towed pickup truck did not pull over or stop travelling, and a few minutes later another Waymo vehicle made contact with the same pickup truck while it was being towed in the same manner. “Neither Waymo vehicle was transporting riders at the time, and this unusual scenario resulted in no injuries and minor vehicle damage,” it says.

Explaining why it has decided on a recall, Waymo said: “Typically a recall serves to inform the owner of a vehicle of a required repair. In our case, we’ve filed a recall notice, which serves to inform the public of a software update that we began to deploy across our fleet in December 2023. This voluntary recall reflects how seriously we take our responsibility to safely deploy our technology and to transparently communicate with the public. There are hundreds of recall reports submitted annually to NHTSA and we respect the importance of this road safety framework and our relevant legal obligations.”

Read the full post here.

(File picture – Waymo)


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