Google self-driving van involved in crash in Arizona, driver injured

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Google self-driving van involved in crash in Arizona, driver injured

A self-driving van that’s part of Google’s tests in Arizona was involved in an accident Friday after a car driven by a human swerved and crashed into it.

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SAN FRANCISCO — A self-driving van that’s part of Google’s tests in Arizona was involved in an accident Friday after a car being driven by a human swerved to avoid another human-driven car and crashed into it. 

Photos taken at the scene show significant damage to the driver’s side of the Waymo van and the front of a silver Honda sedan, with pieces of both vehicles scattered across the roadway.

According to police reports, the Honda was driving eastbound in Chandler, Ariz. when it swerved to avoid striking a vehicle that was driving northbound. As it swerved, the car moved into the westbound lanes, striking the Waymo van.  

The Waymo van was in autonomous mode with a human behind the wheel at the time of the crash but that human was not driving, Chandler police told ABC15, a local television station. The Waymo operator sustained minor injuries.

Chandler is a suburb to the southeast of Phoenix where Waymo has been testing its self-driving vehicles. Waymo is autonomous vehicle subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

There have been at least three accidents involving Waymo autonomous vehicles in Chandler in the past two years, involving human drivers who ran into Waymo cars. 

On March 19 an Uber self-driving car hit and killed a woman who was walking a bike across a busy street outside any crosswalk into traffic.

Last month, Waymo CEO John Krafcik said he had confidence that the company’s technology was robust enough to handle “situations like that one.”

 

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