(Reuters) – Self-driving technology company Waymo, which this month opened its driverless taxi service in the suburbs of Phoenix to the public, said on Friday that its autonomous vehicles there had been involved in 18 minor incidents since 2019 during tests and actual rides.
Waymo, a device from Google's parent Alphabet Inc., said it released the data to improve transparency and open a public dialogue. Some residents have complained about hundreds of Waymo vans driving around the city and told Reuters earlier that their driving patterns were dangerous because they stopped too often and risked being left behind by a human driver. Waymo also said they hope its safety data will help companies and regulators design industry-wide safety standards for self-driving cars.
According to data, Waymo vehicles in the Phoenix area had minor incidents once for approximately every 339 000 miles traveled and a further 29 incidents are avoided with the intervention of a safety driver. It amounted to every 21
Waymo cars were backed 11 times, according to information. Matthew Schwall, head of field safety at Waymo, told reporters in a briefing that an analysis of Phoenix operations shows that its cars were not behind the average human vehicle there.
He said that of the incidents recorded in Arizona, eight of the most significant involved human error. He also said that Waymo self-driving technology could always avoid incidents such as hitting a fixed object or leaving a road. These, he noted, are frequent incidents with human drivers that can lead to deaths.
Mr. Schwall declined to say whether Waymo would release collision and safety data regularly.