Waymo vehicle operating in manual mode strikes pedestrian in San Francisco

Industry

A vehicle operated by self-driving tech company Waymo struck a pedestrian in the road Wednesday night in San Francisco.

A human safety driver was operating the vehicle, an electric Jaguar I-Pace, in manual mode at the time of the collision, according to a Waymo spokesperson, who further said the vehicle had been in manual mode “for the entirety of its mission.”

The pedestrian, a 33-year-old man, was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the San Francisco Police Department.

The collision occurred at 10:24 p.m. on Haight Street between Buchanan and Webster. Police say they found the pedestrian in the roadway. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance, according to Waymo. His condition was not immediately known.

Police say the Waymo safety driver, a 37-year-old man, remained on the scene of the crash and cooperated. The safety driver was the only human aboard the vehicle, according to Waymo. Investigators do not believe alcohol or impairment were factors in the crash, said police spokesperson Officer Adam Lobsinger.

Waymo increased its San Francisco testing this year. In August, the company opened a “Trusted Tester” program that allowed some San Francisco residents to hail autonomous rides in the new all-electric I-Pace in certain areas of the city. The program was akin to Waymo’s “Early Rider Program” in metro Phoenix, where Waymo has now deployed commercial autonomous ride-hailing service across a 50-square-mile area of Chandler and Tempe, Ariz.

“The trust and safety of the communities in which we drive are paramount to us, and we will continue investigating this incident in partnership with local authorities,” the Waymo spokesperson said.

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