Less than two months after a self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona; local news stations are reporting that a Waymo minivan in autonomous mode was involved in a crash in Chandler, Arizona.
As a reminder, Waymo is the self-driving car initiative from Google’s parent company Alphabet.
The head-on collision occurred at the intersection of Chandler Boulevard and Los Feliz Drive, said Seth Tyler, a Chandler Police Department detective.
However, as opposed to the Uber incident, Tyler told Phoenix New Times:
“The Waymo vehicle is not the violator vehicle. It just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Tyler said that an eastbound vehicle swerved in the intersection to avoid a northbound car, traveling into the westbound lanes, where the driver struck the Waymo minivan. “The Waymo vehicle was rolling, but I don’t think it was going very fast,” Tyler said.
The driver behind the wheel of the Waymo minivan sustained minor injuries, Tyler said, but he could not confirm whether the other driver had injuries. Both vehicles had to be towed after the collision, which was first reported by ABC15.
All of which is positive since the Waymo CEO John Krafcik proudly proclaimed following the Uber crash in March that his company’s technology would have avoided the crash.
Arizona has become a testing ground for the nascent technology of autonomous vehicles under Governor Doug Ducey, and the self-driving vehicles of Waymo and Uber are a common sight on Valley roads.