Cyclist hit by Waymo driverless car in San Francisco
The incident occurred when a cyclist followed a truck through a junction, and has sparked a regulatory review
Waymo driverless Jaguar F-Pace
A driverless car collided with a cyclist in San Francisco on Tuesday 6 February, causing minor injuries.
The car was operated by Waymo, the driverless vehicle division of Alphabet, owners of Google. The cyclist, who rode away following the incident, has not been identified.
The crash happened at a four-way junction. Waymo told news agency Reuters that the vehicle was at a complete stop when a large truck turned into the junction. At its turn to proceed, the Waymo car moved forward.
However, a cyclist was behind the truck and not visible to the autonomous vehicle. The cyclist crossed the junction behind the truck, through the path of the car. When the cyclist was fully visible, Waymo's vehicle braked heavily, but wasn't able to avoid the collision, the company said.
San Francisco Supervisor Shamann Walton posted about the crash on Facebook, saying: “So much for safety.”
Following the incident, the cyclist rode away and the Waymo car contacted the police. Indeed, the San Francisco Fire Department said they received a call reporting the collision, and that the cyclist was not admitted to hospital. The police department is still investigating the incident, as is the state's auto regulator.
Waymo was hoping to expand its driverless service in Los Angeles, but this incident will likely make that process more difficult. With driverless cars already a broadly unpopular idea, this latest run-in will be held as yet another reason to proceed with caution before letting autonomous vehicles loose on our streets.