Viral Waymo Swerving Vehicle Video Demonstrates Potential Dangers of Self-Driving Vehicles

image of waymo car for waymo swerving vehicle blog post

A video that’s now going viral of a Waymo swerving vehicle on the road in Phoenix, Arizona has caused alarm and drawn attention to the potential dangers of self-driving vehicles, especially as incidents involving Waymo cars come under fire and face investigation from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defects Investigation. 

Waymo Vehicle Swerving in Phoenix Causes Concern

In a video posted to Instagram on May 13, a Waymo appeared to be swerving into the bike lane several times while driving around Phoenix. 

“I caught a @waymo struggling to stay in its lane,” the social media user who posted the alarming video shared in a caption for the clip. 

“Swerving all over the road and heading to the curb several times on my short drive south of Thomas on 15th Ave. It was following a landscape truck with a tree in the back… not sure if that was the problem but still… I would have freaked out if I was in it.”

The video was shared around the time it was announced that Waymo is actually under investigation over behavior from its automated driving systems, the National Highway Safety Administration announced.

Automated Driving System Safety Violations

fleet of waymo cars from above

“The Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) has received reports of 22 incidents involving Waymo vehicles equipped with Waymo’s 5th generation automated driving system (ADS) wherein the ADS-equipped vehicle was the sole vehicle operated during a collision or wherein the ADS-equipped vehicle exhibited driving behavior that potentially violated traffic safety laws,” the NHTSA report revealed. The notice listed 18 reports of incidents included in the investigation, and of those, 8 reports were from Arizona.

According to AZ Central/The Arizona Republic, the incidents in the Grand Canyon State included the following:

  • A vehicle colliding with a fixed object while completing a right turn
  • A vehicle getting damaged in a construction zone
  • A vehicle colliding with an automatic gate while in a parking lot
  • A vehicle hitting a chain in a parking lot
  • A vehicle hitting spikes in a parking lot entrance
  • A vehicle hitting a rock on the road
  • A vehicle colliding with a gate in an apartment
  • A vehicle hitting debris in the street

Waymo uses self-driving hardware developed in-house, including sensors, computers, radar, and lidar, to operate. And while they sometimes operate safely, self-driving cars can malfunction – as seen in the now-viral Waymo swerving vehicle video – or crash, resulting in questions of accountability and safety. 

However, according to its own website, Waymo claims that “Swiss Re (one of the world’s leading reinsurers) concluded that Waymo is significantly safer than human-driven vehicles,” and that they “aim to reduce traffic injuries and fatalities by driving safely and responsibly.”

Call Phillips Law Group

As driverless Waymo vehicles become a more common sight on our roads, it’s important to be vigilant and not always assume all of the cars on the street with you have an attentive driver behind the wheel. 

If you end up in an accident with a Waymo vehicle or another self-driving car, please don’t hesitate to call Phillips Law Group for assistance. We can walk you through what your options are after a car crash in a free, no-obligation consultation with a member of our team

It’s a whole new world out there on the road, with driverless vehicles becoming more popular than ever before. If you find yourself in a car accident with one of these vehicles, you should consider having a strong personal injury lawyer on your side to pursue justice. Call our firm today to see how we can help!