A self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan operated by Waymo, the autonomy subsidiary of Alphabet/Google, was involved in a two-car accident Friday afternoon in Chandler, Ariz. First reports indicate the autonomous vehicle was not at fault in the crash — not the “violator vehicle,” according to ABC 15 News. This may be Waymo’s first accident in its Arizona test program.
The Waymo van’s side was crumpled. Though Waymo announced in November it would do testing in Chandler without a human backup driver, one was behind the wheel of the van involved in the crash. Chandler police said the van was operating in autonomous mode. Minor injuries were reported.
The accident was at Chandler Avenue and Los Feliz Drive. A Honda was eastbound on Chandler when it had to swerve to avoid a northbound vehicle in the intersection, police said. When it swerved, it entered the westbound lanes and struck the oncoming Waymo van.
Waymo did not immediately comment on the accident.
In March, a self-driving Uber vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Tempe, the first known fatality involving a self-driving car. Since that crash, Uber has halted its self-driving tests nationwide. Waymo CEO John Krafcik said following the Uber crash that his company’s technology would have detected and avoided the pedestrian.