A confused Waymo self-driving car was captured on video as it became stranded on an Arizona road earlier this month while carrying a passenger and then unexpectedly driving away as a worker from the company’s roadside assistance arrived to help.
But the Waymo vehicle soon became stuck farther down the road, which was lined with construction cones. The Waymo worker caught up to the vehicle, took over, and drove the paying passenger to his final destination. Waymo operates a limited ridehail service in Chandler, Arizona.
Autonomous vehicle experts who reviewed the video footage of the 41-minute trip posted on YouTube by the Waymo passenger say it shows a series of gaffes by the Waymo self-driving technology.
“The first one was understandable. The second was strange. The third one was jaw-dropping and the fourth one I threw up my hands,” Noah Goodall, a University of Virginia scientist who researches vehicle communication and automation, told CNN Business.
First, the Waymo vehicle paused at a stop sign rather than turning onto a street lined with cones. Waymo told CNN Business that guidance provided from one of its employees to revise the car’s trajectory was “improper,” and declined to elaborate.