What happens in those self-driving Waymo taxis that pass through certain cities? Not many people know, but this rare video gives us a look at what can happen if something goes wrong. This Waymo cab gets confused by a pair of orange cones, blocks traffic, then runs away from the response specialist̵
The Waymo One program operates in select cities, where ordinary people can hail a Waymo instead of hailing a cab or ordering an Uber. This week, YouTuber JJRicks Studios shared a video of a unique ride he took on a driverless Waymo robot taxi.
The first half of the journey seems smooth, but later the Waymo saw some orange traffic cones and it all went downhill. The Waymo should have turned right onto the main road, in the inner lane as it should, but that never happened. Instead, cones confused it, and instead of adjusting or taking the outdoor track when it was safe, it just stopped … Here’s the video for those interested in watching.
As you can see, the software on these autonomous vehicles occasionally runs in a tricky spot. A remote Waymo team discovered the problem and sent a team down the road to help. Apparently these teams of road guards are usually just a few miles away.
The passenger, in this case JJRicks, received a call from Waymo’s remote team for instructions. As you watch the video unfold, you can see the self-driving car eventually cornering, crashing again, and then panicking. From here, it eventually reverses away from the cones, but then stops again, slowing down even more traffic.
Coincidentally, a nearby construction crew removes the cones, and the Waymo starts moving again, just as the roadside assistance shows up. Unfortunately it keeps getting stuck further down the road due to more cones. Strangely, every time the support staff showed up, the car started driving again, essentially on the run.
Towards the end of the video, we finally saw the Waymo taxi surrender and the staff jumped in to sort things out. Just remember, don’t judge, because this technology is being worked on.
via The Verge