Cop pulls over driverless Waymo car that drove into oncoming traffic

In an event that highlights both the advancements and challenges of autonomous vehicle technology, a Phoenix police officer recently encountered a driverless Waymo taxi exhibiting erratic behavior near a construction zone. On June 19, the officer spotted a white Jaguar SUV driving into oncoming traffic and running a red light. When he pulled over the vehicle, he discovered it was an autonomous Waymo car with no driver inside. Bodycam footage captures the officer’s surprise and confusion as he approaches the driver’s side, only to find the car empty.

The Waymo vehicle, designed to pull over when detecting emergency lights and sirens, had apparently been thrown off course by inconsistent construction signage. The car’s audio system connected the officer with a Waymo representative, who was informed about the vehicle’s dangerous maneuvers. The representative acknowledged the issue, stating that they would investigate the situation. During this time, another officer arrived at the scene, equally shocked to find the car driverless.

Waymo sent a support staffer to assist, and the incident concluded without further complications, as the officer could not issue a citation to a computer. Waymo later clarified that the vehicle had moved into the oncoming lane due to confusing construction signs and was blocked from returning to the correct lane for about 30 seconds before the officer intervened.

Phoenix remains one of the few U.S. cities where autonomous vehicles are permitted on the roads, reflecting the city’s commitment to embracing cutting-edge transportation technology.

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