Driverless Cars Cause Traffic Incident On Freeway: REPORT

(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Driverless cars took a wrong turn Tuesday and led themselves as well as a number of human drivers down a closed road causing traffic problems on a freeway.

The California Public Utilities Commission approved Waymo’s driverless robotaxi vehicles to use the freeway to transport passengers back in March, The San Francisco Standard noted. (RELATED: Crowd Vandalizes, Sets Fire To Waymo Self-Driving Car In San Francisco)

A brief 4-second footage of the incident posted on Reddit shows a line of cars blocking an onramp on the freeway.

Line of driverless Waymos glitch out and block the Portrero Avenue 101 onramp
byu/dzdaniel84 insanfrancisco

The Reddit user who posted the video wrote that they were just driving home when “the traffic came to a sudden stop on the 101 onramp.”

“After sitting in the car waiting for several minutes, a couple of people came out and started moving traffic cones and a construction sign to allow traffic to pass through. I’m not sure how much traffic passed through, since there was a Muni bus right behind me that couldn’t take this detour, but it was a pretty shitty situation all around. I guess autonomous vehicles still aren’t fully there yet,” the user noted.

“While routing back to our San Francisco depot on April 16th at 9:30, a road closure blocked a fully autonomous Waymo vehicle.  The Waymo Driver pulled over to a safe location, out of the traffic lane in an area blocked by cones. Other vehicles, both human and autonomously driven, followed the Waymo vehicle into the road closure. Waymo’s Roadside Assistance team was immediately dispatched to swiftly help the vehicles back on their way and Waymo’s fleet was informed to use an alternative route,” a Waymo spokesperson wrote Daily Caller in an email. The spokesperson added that the vehicle could not simply reroute from where it stopped “because its only other path was to take the freeway, which we currently only traverse with a human autonomous specialist in the Bay Area.”

The company said that a team was dispatched to clear all six of the stuck vehicles and that the entire incident took 30 minutes to clear up, The San Francisco Standard noted. Waymo offers driverless services in Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Austin, Texas, according to its website.

Waymo is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet.