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self-driving van involved in crash while driving in autonomous mode

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The Chandler police department issued the following statement, The Verge reports:

“We are currently investigating a minor injury collision involving two vehicles, one of which is a Waymo autonomous vehicle. This afternoon around noon a vehicle (Honda sedan) traveling eastbound on Chandler Blvd. had to swerve to avoid striking a vehicle traveling northbound on Los Feliz Dr. As the Honda swerved, the vehicle continued eastbound into the westbound lanes of Chandler Blvd. and struck the Waymo vehicle, which was traveling at a slow speed and in autonomous mode. There was an occupant in the Waymo vehicle sitting in the driver’s seat, who sustained minor injuries. Both the Waymo vehicle and the Honda were towed from the scene. This incident is still under investigation.”

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The Chandler police also said the Waymo van was not the “violator vehicle,” ABC 15 News reported.

Twitter user Matt Jaffee posted a photo of the accident scene at 3:40 p.m. PT. Jaffee tweeted: “Right now: Pretty gnarly crash with an @Waymo van in Chandler, AZ. No visible injuries.”



Chandler Police Department spokesman Seth Tyler said this collision is the first accident involving a Waymo vehicle in Chandler this year, according to ABC News 15.

There have now been two vehicle accidents involving autonomous vehicles in the Phoenix area. In March, an Uber self-driving car struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

In November, Waymo announced it would test self-driving cars with no human backup driver behind the wheel, ABC 15 reported. A Waymo employee would be in the vehicle, but in the back seat. A Waymo human backup was in the driver’s seat in the May 4 accident.

Arizona gave Waymo transportation network company (TNC) status in January. TNC status means Waymo can charge riders for service. Riders can hail a Waymo autonomous van with the Waymo app.

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