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NHTSA investigates Waymo self-driving vehicles for 9 additional incidents

This trend of unexpected driving behaviors has prompted NHTSA to request detailed information from Waymo, including video evidence of all incidents, by June 11.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced its investigation into Alphabet’s Waymo self-driving vehicles following a series of concerning incidents. 

Initially sparked by 22 reports of Waymo’s robotaxis displaying questionable driving behaviors and experiencing 17 collisions, NHTSA’s scrutiny has intensified with the discovery of nine additional incidents that further raise safety concerns.

These incidents, as outlined by NHTSA, involve collisions with visible objects and parked vehicles and instances where the automated driving system seemed to disregard traffic safety control devices or rules. This trend of unexpected driving behaviors has prompted NHTSA to request detailed information from Waymo, including video evidence of all incidents, by June 11.

Waymo has yet to respond directly to these recent developments but previously stated pride in their safety record over millions of autonomous miles driven. Despite this, NHTSA remains wary, citing potential risks of crashes, property damage, and injuries associated with Waymo’s self-driving vehicles. Of particular concern are incidents occurring near pedestrians and other road users.

This investigation into Waymo’s self-driving vehicles marks a significant step for NHTSA, potentially leading to a recall if deemed necessary to address safety risks. This move follows similar probes into other autonomous vehicle systems, including General Motors Cruise and Amazon.com’s Zoox. Waymo itself faced a recall earlier in February due to software errors affecting vehicle predictions during towing incidents in Arizona.

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