California’s auto regulator, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is investigating an incident that occurred on Tuesday, where a driverless Waymo car collided with a cyclist, according to a report by Reuters.
San Francisco cops said that the cyclist suffered non-fatal injuries, as per a report by SFGate. Waymo, which is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, said there was only one person in the car, who didn’t suffer injuries. They also informed the police after the incident.
The company said that the driverless car was at a stop at a four-way intersection as a large truck was driving in the opposite direction. The car then moved into the intersection and collided with the cyclist who was behind the truck.
“The cyclist was occluded by the truck and quickly followed behind it, crossing into the Waymo vehicle’s path. When they became fully visible, our vehicle applied heavy braking but was not able to avoid the collision,” the company said in a statement.
Waymo started offering its robotaxi services to vetted riders in San Francisco in August 2021. In September 2021, the company got a regulatory nod from The California Department of Motor Vehicles to start charging for these taxi services. However, it needed a go-ahead from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in August 2022, to start the paid service.
In October, Waymo expanded its service areas in San Francisco to cater to tens of thousands of riders, people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch at that time.
Autonomous taxi companies are already under scrutiny. Last year, Cruise had to recall its entire fleet of autonomous taxis after a robotaxi ran over and dragged a pedestrian. Last month, the GM subsidiary’s internal report revealed that the Department of Justice and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are probing the company.