San Francisco, June 7 (IANS) A Waymo robotaxi travelling in autonomous mode hit and killed a little dog last month in San Francisco. According to an incident report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, it seemed that there was no way to prevent the incident, reports TechCrunch.
As per the report, a self-driving Jaguar I-Pace car was travelling on Toland Street, a slow-speed street close to Waymo’s depot, when a dog ran into the road.
At the time of the incident, the car was in autonomous mode, with a human safety operator at the driver’s seat.
The dog was visible to the autonomous system of the vehicle but not to the human operator. However, Waymo believes that a variety of elements– including the dog’s speed and trajectory–made the crash unavoidable.
“On May 21 in San Francisco, a small dog ran in front of one of our vehicles with an autonomous specialist present in the driver’s seat, and, unfortunately, contact was made. The investigation is ongoing, however the initial review confirmed that the system correctly identified the dog which ran out from behind a parked vehicle but was not able to avoid contact,” the company said in a statement.
According to a Waymo spokesperson, neither the safety operator nor the autonomous system applied the brakes to prevent a crash. In both cases, that was caused because of the dog’s “unusual path” while travelling “at a high rate of speed directly towards the side of the vehicle.”