Driverless Waymo Taxi Pulled Over by Cop for Going Wrong Way

Self-driving technology is clearly not advancing as fast as many of its advocates would like, and there’s still plenty of work to do and legal issues to solve. Another incident in recent weeks made that clear again.

Police in Phoenix, Arizona pulled over a driverless Jaguar I-Pace operated by Waymo after the car got its signals mixed up or had some kind of brain cramp and started driving into an oncoming lane of traffic.

Upon approaching the vehicle and seeing the driver’s window roll down, the officer immediately realized that nobody was sitting behind the wheel. He did manage to talk to a Waymo operator via the onboard telecoms system and let them know about the traffic violation.

The video above doesn’t show the incident, but from what we understand it took place near a construction zone. The officer couldn’t do anything more about it and wrote “unable to issue citation to computer,” as AZCentral reports.

Waymo later reacted to the story and explained that the vehicle had “encountered inconsistent construction signage” and “was blocked from navigating back into the correct lane” for about 30 seconds. Still, any human driver caught in the same situation and deciding to drive into oncoming traffic would inevitably have received a ticket.

Last fall, The Car Guide’s Dominic Boucher himself experienced a ride in a driverless Waymo taxi in San Francisco, California—and lived to tell about it. In fact, he enjoyed it. In case you haven’t read his detailed account, go take a look.

Photo: Waymo
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