A Waymo self-driving vehicle was involved in a serious accident in Chandler, Arizona earlier this afternoon. Local police have said there were minor injuries from the incident after a sedan swerved into the Waymo van to avoid another collision, ABC 15 reported. I’ve contacted the Chandler police department for more information.
Although Waymo has said it will be testing vehicles without safety drivers in Arizona, this was not one of them. An operator was in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash, though the car was in autonomous mode, police said.
Aerial footage and images posted online by onlookers show that this was no fender-bender. The sedan’s front crumple zone is wrecked and glass is broken; the van is in better shape, though its front right tire is crushed in. Both vehicles have since been towed.
Reportedly the sedan was traveling eastbound and swerved to avoid another car at an intersection, straying into the westbound lanes and hitting the Waymo van. What actions if any the latter took to avoid the collision are unknown at this time, though an analysis by the company would of course provide that info. I’ve asked the company for comment and will update if I hear back.