J. Serrano, Feb. 8 “One of Waymo’s driverless cars collided with a cyclist in San Francisco this week because it apparently didn’t see the human until it was too late.
The incident occurred on Tuesday at a four-way intersection while the self-driving vehicle was at a complete stop, Waymo, which is owned by Google, told local outlet ABC7. The car was waiting for a large truck to pass and drove into the intersection when it was its turn. That was when it hit the cyclist, who was riding close to the tail end of the truck. The unnamed victim suffered no serious injuries, according to Waymo, and walked away on their own.”…” Read More Hmmmm… OK, a 4- way stop. Traffic laws dictate that all vehicles must stop, and whoever stopped first then proceeds first after the others have stopped. So, if the Waymo was stopped to let the truck go, the other human operated object behind the truck (the bicycle) got to its stop sign after the Waymo, and hence should have allowed the Waymo to proceed. If that’s the case, then, again: human driver misbehavior contributed to this mishap.
Waymo, however, is not off the hook entirely. Apparently, Waymo was not able to sufficiently detect what was following behind a truck and it struck that entity. That is not good irrespective of that entity being identified as a human-operated bicyclist, scooter or even some small object that the truck was pulling. Since we should all be cooperating on safety, irrespective of what anti-trust law or government regulations might or might not permit, it is imperative that Waymo makes all the data and simulation results of this incident available to everyone. And it seems as though they are doing just that – it looks like one important lesson of the Oct2 GM/Cruise SF incident is yielding value. Making this information available will help everyone avoid not only cyclists surfing behind trucks be also avoid objects that a truck might be towing.
That accomplished, we’ll now have to wait to see what the press/public response is to this incident. If this characterizes Waymo as being insufficiently safe to operate in San Francisco or any other jurisdiction, then Waymo and much of the Driverless car industry needs to Start Over! They are unable to solve the problem they have stated as the problem they are singularly focused on solving: safety. They need to read “The Book” (it’s only $100, while they’ve spent $300 Billion not understanding what they are trying to fix.) Read the book!
More.. If one wants to look at human behavior at stop-controlled intersections one may start with M. Woldeamanuel, fall 2012: “”.
Also see Andrew Hawkin’s take on this incident: Waymo driverless car strikes bicyclist in San Francisco, causes minor injuries. Alain
Staff, Feb. 11, “A Waymo autonomous vehicle was set on fire Saturday night after it was vandalized by a group of people in Chinatown, San Francisco firefighters said.
The vehicle was traveling on Jackson Street, between Stockton and Grant, about 9:25 p.m. when it was surrounded by about 10 to 15 people, Lt. Mariano Elias with San Francisco fire said.
Several social media videos showed a group of people vandalizing the self-driving car. While another video showed the Waymo vehicle going up in flames….” Read More Hmmmm… I had titled this edition of the SDC eLetter “Start Over”, before this happened. I’m speechless, but watch the ZoomCast and Read the Book!!!. Alain