Waymo Issues Software Recall After Robotaxi Collides With Telephone Pole

Waymo, the autonomous vehicle subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., has voluntarily issued a software recall for all 672 of its Jaguar I-Pace robotaxis.

This marks Waymo’s second recall of the year, with the first occurring in February following two robotaxis crashing into a pickup truck being towed.

The latest recall comes after an incident on May 21, 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona, when one of its vehicles was navigating an alley lined with wooden telephone poles and marked by yellow lines. The vehicle, in an attempt to pull over, struck one of the poles at a speed of 8mph (13km/h), resulting in minor damage to the vehicle. No passengers or pedestrians were injured, according to a report from News12.

In response to the incident, Waymo has already deployed a software update to address the issue. According to a company spokesperson, the update did not impact their operations.

“We have already deployed mapping and software updates across our entire fleet, and this does not impact our current operations,” a company spokesperson told Drive Tesla. “As we serve more riders in more cities, we will continue our safety first approach, working to earn trust with our riders, community members, regulators, and policymakers.”

The recall comes in the wake of heightened scrutiny on the autonomous vehicle industry, particularly following the controversy surrounding GM’s Cruise. Cruise faced significant setbacks after one of its robotaxis was involved in a serious accident in California, leading to the suspension of its operations and a loss of permits.

The incident damaged Cruise’s reputation, not only because the pedestrian was first struck by a human-driven vehicle and then their autonomous vehicle, but also due to the company’s failure to disclose key details to regulators.

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