Waymo self-driving car hits public bus

Occurred: February 2016

A Waymo self-driving Lexus car being tested by Google drove into the side of a public bus near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, damaging the bus and car. All drivers and passengers escaped harm.

According to the accident report, the Lexus had intended to turn right off a major boulevard but stopped after detecting sandbags around a storm drain near the intersection, navigated to its left and tried to slip in front of the bus, which it collided with. 

In its accident report, Google said 'We clearly bear some responsibility, because if our car hadn’t moved there wouldn’t have been a collision.' It was the first time the company had accepted some degree of responsibility for one of is vehicles causing a crash.

It also said it has reviewed the incident and changed the cars' software to appreciate that buses may not be as inclined to yield as other vehicles. 

Operator: Alphabet/Waymo
Developer: Alphabet/Waymo

Country: USA

Sector: Automotive

Purpose: Automate steering, acceleration, braking

Technology: Self-driving system; Computer vision
Issue: Safety; Accuracy/reliability

Transparency: Governance; Black box

Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023