Waymo self-driving car hit by red-light runner in Arizona

© Waymo

By Andrew Krok, Roadshow

Waymo has once again found itself involved in a collision, and just like last time, a red-light runner is to blame.

One of Waymo's self-driving development vehicles, presumably a Chrysler Pacifica, was involved in a multiple-car collision on Saturday night. An allegedly impaired driver ran a red light at Country Club Drive and Southern Avenue in Mesa and collided with the Waymo vehicle. The driver then continued and collided with three other vehicles before being arrested after first responders arrived.

The Mesa Fire and Medical Department told AZCentral that the vehicle was not operating in autonomous mode at the time of the collision. Waymo sent Roadshow the department's statement via email.

It's a similar story to what happened in May, when another Waymo van was involved in a Chandler, Arizona, collision. In that case, an oncoming vehicle swerved to avoid striking another car, contacting the Waymo van that was operating in autonomous mode at the time. Waymo was ruled not at fault.

There has been increased scrutiny of collisions involving self-driving cars after a pedestrian died in a collision with an Uber development vehicle operating in autonomous mode. The NTSB's preliminary report found that Uber's car could have stopped in time to avoid the fatal crash, but the system wasn't set up to do that on its own without human involvement. Uber has since shuttered its autonomous operations in Arizona, saying it will instead focus on similar work in Pennsylvania.

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