Self-driving crash kills San Francisco dog
A self-driving car operated by Google spinoff Waymo last month hit and killed a dog on San Francisco roads.
An incident report with Californian authorities reveals an autonomous Jaguar I-Pace driving on Toland Street, an urban road near Waymo headquarters, struck and killed a dog that ran onto the street.
The car was operating in autonomous mode when the crash occurred. The human supervision driver didn’t see the dog, but the vehicle’s autonomous driving systems did.
Despite that fact, the car couldn’t avoid the crash.
“On May 21 in San Francisco, a small dog ran in front of one of our vehicles with an autonomous specialist present in the driver’s seat, and, unfortunately, contact was made,” Waymo said in a statement to TechCrunch.
“The investigation is ongoing, however the initial review confirmed that the system correctly identified the dog which ran out from behind a parked vehicle but was not able to avoid contact. We send our sincere condolences to the dog’s owner.
“The trust and safety of the communities we are in is the most important thing to us and we’re continuing to look into this on our end.”
This isn’t the first time an autonomous vehicle has run into trouble on public roads.
A self-driving Waymo vehicle earlier this year was caught on camera being pulled over by police after navigating down the wrong street, and Tesla’s attempts to outfit its cars with self-driving technology have constantly courted headlines.
Uber’s now-defunct self-driving program will be remembered for a 2018 crash which killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.
According to police, 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was crossing the street when she was struck by an autonomous test vehicle. She later died in hospital.