Waymo’s self-driving taxis have traveled one million miles without serious collisions
A subsidiary of Alphabet (the owner of, among others, Google) announced that its autonomous taxis traveled a million miles (over 1.6 million kilometers) in January without anyone at the wheel, and during this time they did not participate in any road incident in which they suffered man. In addition to the fact that no one was injured, there were only two incidents during this time that meet the criteria for inclusion in the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration’s database of car accidents, called the Crash Investigation Sampling System (CISS). These criteria include filing a police report or having one or more vehicles towed.
But even these two incidents were not the fault of autonomous systems. The more serious one involved a Waymo taxi being rear-ended at a red light by a car whose driver was looking at a mobile phone.
The second incident occurred when a car entered the same lane as a Waymo taxi and braked suddenly, causing the self-driving vehicle to rear-end as it did not have enough time to avoid the collision.
There were an additional 18 minor contact incidents that did not meet the CISS criteria, including a car backing out of a parking space hitting a Waymo waiting to pick up a passenger, and being hit by a portable plastic sign stand that was blown away by the wind. Waymo said more than half of all these incidents resulted from a human-driven vehicle crashing into a stationary autonomous taxi.
In case you missed it: @Waymo is operating driverless 24/7 in all of San Francisco. 🤖🚗🌁 Here’s a recent ride I took from Upper Haight to Coit Tower, traversing some particularly hilly parts of SF! ⛰️ pic.twitter.com/t3FMYhnctn
— Daylen Yang (@daylenyang) December 27, 2022
“Despite 24/7 driving in major U.S. cities, Waymo has never experienced an event of the type responsible for 94% of fatal collisions in the NHTSA accident investigation database,” the company said.
Following a rigorous cycle of validation and safety readiness evaluation, @Waymo is starting fully-autonomous (no human driver) testing in LA. Thrilled by the data confirming, once again, how well our ML-based 5th-gen Driver generalizes across cities! pic.twitter.com/hd0XU5zecT
— Dmitri Dolgov (@dmitri_dolgov) February 27, 2023
Waymo co-CEO Dmitri Dolgov recently tweeted that the company has begun testing its Jaguar I-PACE self-driving vehicles in Los Angeles. They are currently available to passengers in Phoenix, Arizona, and San Francisco, California.
Waymo is not the only robotaxi service to have traveled a million miles recently. Cruise – a subsidiary of General Motors – also reached this milestone last week.