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According to the @USDOT, someone runs a red light every ~20 min. Proud of the work by our team to make roads safer, like in this situation where the @Waymo driver in fully-auto mode (no human in the driver’s seat) safely reacts to a car blowing through a red light in Phoenix. pic.twitter.com/pDrIczVEMN
— Dmitri Dolgov (@dmitri_dolgov) June 1, 2022
Autonomous vehicles have the potential to make roads safer for everyone. Like most other robotaxis, Waymo’s are equipped with cameras, radar and LiDAR sensors that can see 360º around the car and over three football fields away. These capabilities are what help Waymo’s robotaxis avoid unexpected events, like the one in the GIF above tweeted by Waymo’s co-CEO Dmitri Dolgov.
In the GIF, a fully autonomous and driverless Waymo robotaxi approaches an intersection in Phoenix with a green light. As it enters the intersection, Waymo’s sensor stack picks up on a red truck approaching the intersection from the right side. The Waymo vehicle slows to a stop as the truck runs through the red light.
According to the U.S. department of transportation, someone runs a red light about every 20 minutes at urban intersections, and in the last decade, crashes related to running red lights have killed almost 9,000 people.
“Proud of the work by our team to make roads safer, like in this situation where the Waymo driver in fully-auto mode (no human in the driver’s seat) safely reacts to a car blowing through a red light in Phoenix,” Dolgov tweeted.
Waymo recently began giving fully driverless robotaxi rides to its employees in San Francisco. The news came less than a month after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued Waymo a Drivered Deployment permit, allowing the company to charge for rides with human safety drivers.
Waymo was first given the green light to begin public robotaxi rides in California in October 2021. The permit it received from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) allowed the company to operate its robotaxis with human safety drivers behind the wheel.
Waymo has been giving fully autonomous public rides in the east valley of Phoenix since 2020. The company’s roots in the area will help facilitate its next deployment in downtown Phoenix. Waymo plans to start with drivered rides for its employees, then move to giving rides with members of its Trusted Tester program before opening it up to the general public.