Google's self-driving cars ... the company's president steps down, residents angry over its street tests
John Kravsek, CEO of Waymo, announced that he will step down after 5 and a half years of leading Google's autonomous car development company, at a time of mounting criticism of the company, which has caused great discontent among Arizona residents.
A self-driving car of Waymo caused an accident last October when it stopped unexpectedly in the middle of the road due to a technical failure that the Google-linked company claims is rare.
In another accident in 2020, a police officer claimed that the sudden stop of a Waymo vehicle caused a collision. The incidents are detailed in newly released police reports obtained by the Phoenix New Times, shedding new light on the function and operations of autonomous vehicles, which are often classified.
Reports on the state of Arizona under the Public Records Act detail all of the issues related to OIMO since January 2020.
Earlier this month, the company boasted of how well its self-driving cars were performing, yet the company was not completely transparent with residents of Metro Phoenix, as it refused to hand over data showing how many times the autonomous vehicle function had failed while driving around the Chandler and Tempe areas. And other valley areas.
The latest police reports help explain why the company has struggled to deploy its entire driverless fleet. Although their vehicles can operate in driverless mode, nearly all of them still have backup drivers behind the wheel when on the road.
Sudden stops have been observed in the company's cars for years, and rear collisions were usually seen as the driver's fault who did not stop in time, while the problem in this case is the autonomous car suddenly stopping in the middle of the road without any reason.
In the October 8 incident, a white Waymo was driving west in the middle of 3 lanes in self-driving mode when it stopped unexpectedly for no reason.
A backup driver in Waymo behind the wheel at the time told Chandler Police that "the car started to stop suddenly without warning."
The red Chevrolet Silverado pickup swept behind the car to the right but cut off the rear panel, causing minor damage, and no one was injured.
The officer who wrote the crash report ticked the boxes indicating that Waymo's car "stopped in the road of traffic", but also wrote that the other car was traveling "too fast".