Robotaxi operator, Waymo has voluntarily filed a recall report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the previous software used on its fleet.

This followed a review of two incidents that took place in Phoenix on 11 December 2023 involving a backwards-facing pickup truck being improperly towed.

In this scenario, the truck, which was persistently angled across a centre turn lane and a traffic lane, was being towed ahead of a Waymo vehicle.

In the first incident, the Waymo vehicle made contact with the truck. The truck did then not pull over and stop travelling, and a few minutes later, a different Waymo vehicle made contact with the same vehicle.

These collisions resulted in no injuries and minor vehicle damage.

Waymo will begin testing its fully autonomous passenger cars without a human driver on freeways in Phoenix
Waymo operates fully autonomous ride-hailing vehicles in Phoenix

Following the incidents, the entire Waymo fleet was updated with software to address the issue. This was completed between 20 December 2023 and 12 January 2024.

By filing a recall notice, Waymo aims to inform the public of the software update.

The company’s analysis of the incidents determined that the orientation mismatch of the towed pickup truck and tow truck caused the Waymo AV to incorrectly predict the future motion of the towed vehicle.

It therefore conducted rigorous testing and validated a solution, which is deployed in its latest software update.


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