Vehicular Accident In Arizona Involves Waymo Self-Driving Minivan

Vehicular Accident Involving Waymo Self-Driving Van In Arizona

Waymo’s self-driving vehicle was involved in a vehicular accident in Chandler, Arizona, on Friday.  This was reported by local news stations.  There were minor injuries reported at the scene.  The Waymo self-driving minivan crashed into another vehicle.

Details Of The Crash

According to investigators from the Chandler Police Department, The Waymo van was in autonomous mode with an occupant behind the wheel when the vehicular accident happened.  But investigations showed that the said minivan was not the “violator vehicle”.  The Chandler Police Department and Waymo did not immediately respond to requests for comments.

But a spokesperson for the Chandler Police Department sent a statement.  According to the statement, the vehicular accident involved a Waymo minivan and a Honda sedan.  The accident happened along Chandler Blvd. where the eastbound sedan swerved to avoid striking a vehicle travelling northbound on Los Feliz Drive.

As the Honda sedan swerved, it continued eastbound into the westbound lanes of Candler Blvd.  It then hit the Waymo vehicle.  The self-driving minivan was travelling at a slow speed in autonomous mode.  The Waymo had an occupant behind the wheel who suffered minor injuries.  The minivan had its side caved in while the sedan had a smashed front end.  Both vehicles were towed from the scene.  According to the statement, this incident is still under investigation.

Another Incident Involving A Self-Driving Vehicle

A self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in March.  The pedestrian is the first known victim of a crash involving an autonomous vehicle.  Uber has halted its self-driving tests nationwide in the wake of the crash.  And the industry has faced renewed scrutiny.

Another incident involved a Tesla Model X SUV.  The car had its Autopilot feature turned on when the accident happened.  It slammed into a concrete highway lane divider and burst into flames.  The driver died shortly afterwards at the hospital.  This is the second confirmed fatal crash in which Tesla’s Autopilot system was controlling the car.

How The Accidents Affected Self-Driving Vehicles

The initial reaction from the public is that these autonomous vehicles are not safe.  Naturally the companies producing these vehicles suffered from the negative feedback and reaction of the public.  These accidents put doubts on prospective self-driving vehicles patrons.

Let us always bear in mind, though, that these are accidents.  Nobody wanted these incidents to happen.  These companies are looking into the situation and learning from the incidents.  They will be able to know what went wrong then, and do something to correct it.  The main goal of these companies is to provide us with a stress free mode of transportation.  Not making accidents involving their vehicles happen.

Advancement in technology cannot be stopped.  More innovations are coming.  Mistakes and accidents happen.  Let us just learn from them, do something to prevent it from happening again, and move on with our life.


Uber and Waymo Made a Settlement Regarding Self-Driving

Uber and Waymo settled on self-driving

Uber and Waymo came to a settlement over claims that Uber stole trade secrets from the self-driving company. The settlement money caused Uber to give Waymo a 0.34 percent Uber stake. That is amounting to approximately $245m.

The company also agreed to never use Waymo’s technology in its self-driving cars. Although they insisted that they never did.

Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive felt regret on how their company handled the issue. In a statement, he said to Waymo, “While we won’t agree on everything going forward, we agree that Uber’s acquisition of Otto could and should have been handled differently.”

Otto was a self-driving trucking company co-founded by former Google employee Anthony Levandowski. In 2016, Uber acquired it for $650m.

The deal came four days after Travis Kalanick, former Uber chief executive, took the stand in San Francisco federal court. He was accused of plotting a plan to steal 14,000 confidential files from Waymo. Those files were acquired when the firm was still a part of Google. But now, it is already owned by Alphabet, Google’s parent company.

The jury was shown internal emails referencing demands from Mr. Kalanick. He wanted “pound of flesh” from Google. Mr. Kalanick said that he used the phrase from “time to time”.

A visitor’s pass for Mr. Levandowski was also used as an evidence. The pass was dated at a time he was still working at Google.

Uber’s defense was that there was no proof they had used any of the disputed secrets in their technology.

Mr. Khosrowshahi said, “We do not believe that any trade secrets made their way from Waymo to Uber.”

He added, “Nor do we believe that Uber has used any of Waymo’s proprietary information in its self-driving technology, we are taking steps with Waymo to ensure our Lidar and software represents just our good work.”

Details of the secrets were not made public, however, it was discussed in closed sessions in front of the jury.

Waymo sought damages against Uber which could have totaled more than $1 billion or an injuction.

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