Electronics and Semiconductors

NHTSA investigating Waymo over robotaxi accidents

30 May 2024

The U.S. National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) is expanding its investigation into Alphabet’s autonomous vehicle division Waymo to include 22 incidents involving its robotaxi testing.

Waymo is the third robotaxi vendor to come under investigation after Cruise Automation and Amazon’s Zoox both have come under fire after accidents involving the autonomous vehicles.

The incidents regarding Waymo stretch back to August of 2021. Most are minor accidents with no injuries and little property damage. There are also a few road rules violations.

The NHTSA is investigating the mandatory reporting from Waymo but also recent online reports that found Waymo robotaxis driving in opposite lanes of travel and one hitting a telephone pole in an alley.

Waymo has not commented on the investigations and has not made any plans publicly to scale back its testing in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California, Phoenix, Arizona, and Austin, Texas.

When Cruise came under investigation after it lost its license in California to test driverless vehicles, it temporarily shut down operations in the U.S. It has subsequently restarted testing operations in Arizona. Zoox said it was working with the NHTSA to answer questions regarding the incidents with its robotaxis but is also not stopping testing.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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