A Waymo One self-driving vehicle struck a bicyclist in San Francisco on Tuesday.
The cyclist experienced “minor scratches” and was able to leave on their own after the Waymo vehicle hit the rider in an intersection, a company spokesperson told Spectrum News.
The cyclist was obscured by a large truck traveling through the intersection. After following the truck, the cyclist turned left and crossed into the Waymo One’s path.
“When they became fully visible, our vehicle applied heavy braking but was not able to avoid the collision,” the statement said, adding that the company called police to the scene and has made contact with other relevant authorities about the collision.
The incident with the Waymo vehicle comes about four months after an autonomous vehicle from the General Motors subsidiary Cruise struck a pedestrian in San Francisco and dragged her 20 feet to a curb, causing serious injuries. An independent investigation of that accident determined the Cruise robotaxi crash was caused by the pedestrian being propelled into the AV’s path by a human-driven vehicle that hit her first. The AV mistakenly classified the collision as a side impact, prompting the pullover maneuver that dragged her to the curb.
The Cruise incident resulted in a suspension of the company’s driverless permits in California and a federal investigation. Cruise issued a voluntary recall of its cars with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in November.
Waymo is one of three companies in the state of California that has a permit to deploy autonomous vehicles without a human safety driver behind the wheel to take over in case of emergencies. Based in Mountain View, Calif., Waymo operates a fleet of 250 robotaxis in the Bay Area and is working to expand its driverless service to Los Angeles and Austin, Texas.