Waymo recalls robotaxi software after Phoenix collision

Waymo expanded its service in Phoenix, now offering coverage over 315 square miles.
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Software de robotaxi

Waymo has decided to voluntarily retire robotaxi software after one of its autonomous vehicles collided with a telephone pole in Phoenix, Arizona, last month. This incident marks the second Waymo software recall.

On May 21, an empty Waymo robotaxi was on its way to pick up a passenger when it crossed an alley flanked by wooden telephone poles at road level. Despite the longitudinal yellow stripes marking the road, the vehicle stopped and struck a pole at a speed of 8 MPH, resulting in some damage but no injuries.

Waymo fixes maps and robotaxi software

Following the incident, Mountain View, California-based Waymo notified the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the software recall. The software update fixes a bug that assigned a low damage score to telephone poles and updates the maps to better include the hard edges of the road in the alley.

After the May 21 event in Phoenix, we filed a voluntary software recall with NHTSA to address a mapping and software issue. We have already implemented upgrades throughout our fleet, without affecting our current operations. We continue to prioritize safety and work to earn the trust of our passengers and the community.“, a Waymo spokesperson told The Robot Report.

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Likewise, Waymo engineers performed the recall at its central depot, where the robotaxis regularly return for maintenance. This was not a wireless software update, but was physically executed on site.

NHTSA Investigation and Waymo Expansion

Last February, Waymo recalled 444 vehicles following two minor collisions in December 2023. In both cases, the robotaxis collided with an improperly towed pickup truck. In addition, NHTSA is investigating Waymo for more than two dozen incidents involving its autonomous vehicles, including 17 crashes and five possible traffic violations.

Despite these challenges, Waymo has continued to expand its services. Last week, the company expanded its service area in Phoenix, adding an additional 90 square miles. Now, users can access Waymo One for 315 square miles, encompassing new areas of north Phoenix and extending to Desert Ridge and downtown Mesa.

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Source: therobotreport

Photo: Shutterstock

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