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Waymo Robotaxi Pulled Over in Phoenix

A self-driving Waymo vehicle was pulled over by Phoenix police after running a red light & veering into oncoming traffic
July 8, 2024

In a dramatic turn of events, a self-driving Waymo vehicle was pulled over by a police officer in Phoenix after running a red light and veering into oncoming traffic. The incident, which occurred on June 19, has garnered significant attention following the release of bodycam footage by local media outlets, including the Arizona Republic.

The footage reveals the autonomous car weaving through traffic before finally pulling into a parking lot. The officer's bodycam captures his approach to the driverless vehicle, highlighting the challenges law enforcement faces with autonomous technology.

Dispatch records, marked in emphatic all caps, noted the vehicle "FREAKED OUT," and the officer was "UNABLE TO ISSUE CITATION TO COMPUTER." This incident underscores the complexities and occasional unpredictability of self-driving technology.

Waymo, an Alphabet-owned robotaxi company, responded to the incident, explaining that the vehicle had encountered "inconsistent construction signage," causing it to briefly enter an unoccupied oncoming lane. According to a Waymo spokesperson, the vehicle remained in the incorrect lane for about 30 seconds before safely navigating back to the correct path. Importantly, no passengers were inside during the event.

This incident is the latest in a series of challenges for Waymo, which has voluntarily recalled its software twice this year following crashes. Additionally, the safety of its autonomous driving technology is currently under scrutiny by federal regulators.

Waymo's efforts to refine and improve its self-driving technology continue amid these setbacks. As the industry evolves, ensuring the safety and reliability of autonomous vehicles remains paramount.

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