SAN FRANCISCO—A Waymo self-driving car hit and killed a small dog on May 21.
The accident transpired just before 11 a.m. on Toland Street near a dog training facility in San Francisco while the car, a Jaguar I-Pace, was in autonomous mode with a test driver in the front seat. The dog was reported to be off a leash and ran into the road.
Shortly after the incident Waymo issued this statement:
“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. 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.”
The Jaguar I-Pace only sustained minor damage according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles report.
According to reports there has been opposition to the deployment of robotaxis throughout the city. “Dozens – perhaps hundreds or thousands – of incidents in which autonomous vehicles were reported to drive erratically, block traffic and interfere with emergency response operations,” local officials wrote. In one incident a firefighter had to smash the window of a self-driving vehicle to stop it from entering an emergency scene.
Tesla, another company that provides robotaxi services, had to recall over 360,000 self-driving vehicles back in February due to a dangerous full self-driving update.
Waymo which is owned by Google has been seeking to increase their robotaxi services throughout San Francisco. The company has requested to be able to operate their self-driving taxis at all hours and throughout the entire city. Currently, they can only operate between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and in limited parts of the city. The California Public Utilities Commission will vote on this resolution on June 29.