In what appears to be an epidemic of vehicle recalls, self-driving car service Waymo issued a software recall after two of its vehicles collided with a tow truck in December.
A tow truck was pulling a van in Phoenix, Arizona, when a Waymo vehicle’s camera sensor allegedly misjudged the van’s location, causing the collision.
The truck continued driving and was hit a few minutes later by a second Waymo vehicle; There were no passengers in either Waymo vehicle at the time of the accident.
Waymo announced the recall in a blog post on Tuesday, repeatedly calling the incident a “rare event” and saying it had immediately begun rolling out a software update to its entire fleet of autonomous vehicles.
Waymo issued a voluntary recall after two of its self-driving vehicles collided with the same two trucks just minutes apart.
The company said it reported the crashes to the Phoenix Police Department, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and NHTSA and conducted an internal review of the two incidents.
Waymo said: “Given our commitment to safety, our team immediately went to work to understand what happened.”
He reported that the pickup truck was allegedly being “improperly towed” and was angled so that it was resting between a center turning lane and a traffic lane on Dec. 11, 2023.
Because the van was partially in a separate lane, Waymo’s AV software perceived the van and tow truck to be two separate vehicles, causing the rideshare car to incorrectly predict which direction the tow truck was moving.
No one was injured in the accident and the vehicles suffered minimal damage from the accident, the company reported.
Waymo’s recall included a software update for its entire fleet of autonomous vehicles between December and January
Waymo began accepting passengers in early 2022, but self-driving car companies have recently come under fire for accidents involving their self-driving vehicles, despite claims that they are potentially safer than human drivers.
A Waymo vehicle fatally struck a dog while in self-driving mode when a person was testing the autonomous feature in San Francisco in June 2023.
In July, a Waymo in Tempe, Arizona, caused a three-car crash when it braked to avoid hitting a fallen branch; There was a driver in the vehicle who suffered minor injuries.
In yet another incident, one of Waymo’s self-driving vehicles hit a cyclist last week after allegedly not seeing the person until it was too late.
Waymo AV uses light detection to create a 3D image of what’s happening around the vehicle and uses lidar sensors to send millions of “laser pulses” in all directions.
The amount of time it takes for a pulse to bounce off an object tells the vehicle how far away a person, car, sidewalk, or other object is.
It also features 360-degree cameras that allow you to see in both daylight and low-light conditions to detect traffic lights, construction zones, and other objects hundreds of meters away.
Waymo uses laser sensors, radar, 360-degree camera and on-board computer to assess its surroundings
The vehicle’s radar detector provides information about the distance and speed of another object while its on-board computer collects all the data from the cameras and sensors in real time to identify the different objects and plan the best route to its destination.
After determining that its guidance system had failed, Waymo changed and updated its vehicle software on all of its vehicles between December and January.
The company said it consulted with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on four separate occasions and ultimately decided to issue a voluntary recall that serves as notice to the public that it had implemented the update.
Waymo did not specify what the software update entails, but a spokesperson told Dailymail.com that it fixed the self-driving system’s error when it incorrectly predicted the future movement of the towed vehicle.
The company did not remove its autonomous vehicles from the road and said the recall did not affect its service.
“This voluntary recall reflects how seriously we take our responsibility to deploy our technology safely and communicate transparently with the public,” Waymo said.
“There are hundreds of recall reports submitted annually to NHTSA and we respect the importance of this highway safety framework and our relevant legal obligations.”
Waymo declined Dailymail.com’s request for comment.