Waymo Autonomous Car Hits Bicyclist in San Francisco

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

General Motors’ Cruise division has been in the news a lot lately, but Waymo has stayed mostly out of the spotlight. That changed earlier this week when one of its autonomous taxis struck a bicyclist in San Francisco, though it appears the situation might have even challenged human drivers.

The Waymo car was next to a large truck at an intersection. As it moved forward, a cyclist behind the truck entered its path. Though the car braked heavily, it was unable to avoid a collision, but thankfully, the bicyclist did not need a ride to the hospital after the accident. Waymo, part of Alphabet, called the police, who said they were investigating the incident.

While this ended about as well as it could have, with no serious injuries, it likely won’t help Waymo’s expansion plans. It is currently working to expand services in Los Angeles, but this incident and Cruise’s troubles won’t help its cause.

The collision happened just a day ago, so we don’t yet know Waymo’s response or if this will lead to updates to prevent additional accidents. Cruise has paused operations and issued a recall for many of its vehicles to address issues that cause some of its issues, which could be a warning sign to people hoping for a smoother recovery from Waymo.

[Image: Phil Pasquini via Shutterstock]

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Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

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6 of 29 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Feb 07, 2024

    I'm more surprised there are still people bicycling in San Fran. I'd drive with the windows rolled up and the doors locked.

    • See 1 previous
    • Analoggrotto Analoggrotto on Feb 08, 2024

      You walked around in a gym for 5 miles, big deal, next.

  • IBx1 IBx1 on Feb 08, 2024

    The situation makes no sense; the bicyclist cannot have been following the rules of the road any way I try to imagine the actual accident reconstruction. Were they crossing the road, changing lanes within an intersection, or otherwise putting themselves in front of a vehicle that had a clear path to proceed?

  • Scott Scott on Feb 08, 2024

    With the reputation of many peddlers, is this a bug or a feature?

    I, for one, am torn. (I peddle around on a bike too, but some of them?)