May 15, 2024 - Technology

Waymo under investigation

A Waymo autonomous self-driving Jaguar drives along Venice Beach on March 14 in Los Angeles. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

A Waymo autonomous Jaguar drives along Venice Beach on March 14 in Los Angeles. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Self-driving car startup Waymo is facing a new federal investigation into crashes involving its autonomous vehicles.

Why it matters: The promising but still nascent sector is under scrutiny as regulators examine whether self-driving cars are fit for the road.

Driving the news: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's Office of Defects Investigation (ODI) says it opened a probe into Waymo on Monday.

  • Investigators flagged 22 incidents with Waymo's self-driving cars where they were "the sole vehicle operated during a collision" or "exhibited driving behavior that potentially violated traffic safety laws."
  • "Reports include collisions with stationary and semi-stationary objects such as gates and chains, collisions with parked vehicles, and instances in which the [system] appeared to disobey traffic safety control devices," ODI said.

The other side: A Waymo spokesperson said the company is "proud of our performance and safety record over tens of millions of autonomous miles driven, as well as our demonstrated commitment to safety transparency," adding that Waymo will work with the agency.

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