Self-driving car couldn’t avoid running over and killing dog in US street, reports say


In an aerial view, Waymo autonomous vehicles sit parked in a staging area on June 8, 2023 in San Francisco, California. A review showed the car’s autonomous system correctly identified the dog, but could not avoid striking it, the spokesperson said. — AFP

A Waymo self-driving car could not avoid running over a dog that darted into a San Francisco street, the company said.

The accident involving an autonomous Jaguar I-Pace with a human behind the wheel took place at 10.56am on May 21, a report to the California Department of Motor Vehicles said.

The dog, which dashed into the street in front of the Jaguar from behind a parked vehicle, died in the accident, KTVU reported.

The human behind the wheel didn’t see the dog because of its angle and speed, a Waymo spokesperson told McClatchy News.

A review showed the car’s autonomous system correctly identified the dog, but could not avoid striking it, the spokesperson said.

The autonomous system and safety driver both failed to brake in time, TechCrunch reported.

“We send our sincere condolences to the dog’s owner,” the spokesperson said. “The trust and safety of the communities we are in is the most important thing to us and we’re continuing to look into this on our end.”

An analysis reconstructing the accident from several points of view, including that of an aware driver, showed “it was not possible to avoid this unfortunate event,” the Waymo spokesperson said. – The Charlotte Observer/Tribune News Service

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