Throughout California’s largest cities, you may see any number of different self-driving vehicles on the road. One of the most popular is the Waymo self-driving taxi. As a subsidiary of Google, Waymo is on the cutting edge of autonomous vehicles, also known as self-driving cars. The Waymo One is their entry into the ridehailing market, offering a self-driving taxi service that would allow passengers to be transported autonomously without the need for a human driver.
While any new technology is exciting, the Waymo self-driving taxi service is not without its risks. Especially because it is still in development, there is always the possibility of accidents, even with all the advanced technology in place. While Waymo’s goal is to make the roads safer and reduce the number of accidents caused by human error, accidents can still happen due to various factors. Worse yet, when these accidents happen, it’s you and other riders that suffer injuries. Thus, it’s important to understand how to approach these cases so that you can make sure you’re protected.
Contact Rideshare Law Office Today For a Free Consultation
At Rideshare Law Office, we know how difficult it can be to face a car accident. No matter who caused it, someone is responsible for your injuries. While this can be somewhat confusing in the case of a self-driving taxi or car, our team of experienced California car accident lawyers can help. We have a thorough understanding of the law and how it applies in these unique situations. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation if you’ve been involved in a Waymo self-driving taxi accident.
How Prevalent Are Waymo Self-Driving Taxis?
Waymo’s self-driving taxi service is currently available in limited areas in the United States. They are currently offering a commercial self-driving taxi services in both Phoenix, AZ and San Francisco, with plans to expand to other cities in the future. In these areas, Waymo operates a fleet of self-driving minivans that passengers can request through the Waymo app, and the service is available to the general public.
Although Waymo is a leader in self-driving technology, the number of self-driving taxis currently in operation is relatively small. This is due to the complex nature of developing self-driving technology and the need to ensure that it is safe and reliable before it can be deployed on a large scale. However, Waymo has been testing its self-driving technology for many years and has made significant progress in improving its technology and expanding its services. Throughout this process, they’ve developed several pieces of technology that makes their vehicles better equipped to deal with demand, such as:
- Sensors – Waymo self-driving taxis are equipped with a variety of sensors, including lidar, radar, and cameras, which provide a 360-degree view of the vehicle’s surroundings. The lidar sensors use lasers to create a 3D map of the environment, while the radar sensors and cameras detect objects and other vehicles.
- Computer vision – Waymo’s self-driving technology uses computer vision algorithms to analyze data from the sensors and make decisions on how to navigate the vehicle. The system can identify and track objects, predict their movements, and plan a safe path around them.
- Safety features – Waymo’s self-driving taxis are designed with safety as a top priority. The vehicles are equipped with redundant systems, such as backup power supplies and multiple sensors, to ensure that they can continue operating safely in the event of a component failure.
- Ride-hailing app – Passengers can hail a Waymo self-driving taxi using the Waymo app. The app allows passengers to input their destination and track the vehicle’s progress in real-time. Once the vehicle arrives, passengers can enter the vehicle and begin their journey.
- Human backup driver – Although the ultimate goal is for Waymo’s self-driving taxis to operate autonomously, the vehicles are currently equipped with a human backup driver who can take control of the vehicle if needed.
In the future, it is likely that Waymo’s self-driving taxis will become more prevalent as the technology continues to improve and more companies enter the market. That said, it’s still in the relatively early stages of development and implementation. Thus, as technology continues to improve and develop, there will invariably be growing pains. Among the most serious of these are accidents.
What Causes Accidents With Waymo Self-Driving Taxis in California?
Just like any other vehicle on the road, Waymo’s self-driving taxis have been involved in their fair share of accidents. However, it’s important to note that the frequency of accidents involving these vehicles is significantly lower compared to traditional vehicles driven by humans. This is likely due to the fact that there are simply fewer of the Waymo vehicles on the road.
At the same time, Waymo has acknowledged that their self-driving technology is not perfect, and accidents can still occur due to a variety of reasons. Some of the possible causes of accidents with Waymo self-driving taxis include:
- Software or hardware malfunctions – Just like any other technology, self-driving technology can experience malfunctions, which can result in accidents. Waymo conducts rigorous testing and monitoring of their vehicles to prevent such malfunctions from happening, but they can still occur.
- Environmental factors – Self-driving vehicles rely on sensors to navigate the roads, and environmental factors such as poor weather conditions, poor lighting, and road construction can affect the accuracy of these sensors, which can lead to accidents.
- Human error – While Waymo’s self-driving technology is designed to minimize the role of human drivers, there are still instances where a human driver may be required to take over control of the vehicle. If the human driver fails to do so in a timely manner, an accident can occur.
- Other drivers on the road – Just like other car accidents, most involving Waymo self-driving taxis have been caused by other drivers on the road. These drivers may be driving recklessly or may not be paying attention to the road, leading to accidents with Waymo’s self-driving taxis.
No matter what causes the accident you’re in, you will likely be dealing with injuries and other damages. Although self-driving taxis are a relatively new entity on the road, the law is still prepared to deal with these accidents.
What Should You Do After a Waymo Self-Driving Taxi Accident?
First and foremost, your health and safety should be your top priority after any car accident. This is especially true if you are involved in an accident with a Waymo self-driving taxi. In those situations, you should take the following steps:
- Check for injuries – The first and most important step is to check yourself and others for injuries. If anyone is injured, call for medical assistance immediately.
- Call the police – Under California law, any car accident must be reported to police. Thus, after an accident with a Waymo self-driving taxi, you’ll need to call the police and report the accident. Even if the accident is minor, it’s important to have a police report for insurance and legal purposes.
- Document the accident – Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including the damage to both vehicles and any injuries. Also, get the contact information of any witnesses.
- Contact Waymo – If you were a passenger in the self-driving taxi, contact Waymo’s support team as soon as possible. They will guide you through the next steps and help with any necessary paperwork.
- Contact your insurance company – If you were driving your own vehicle, contact your insurance company and inform them of the accident. Provide them with all the relevant details, including the police report and any photos or videos.
Filing a claim
After you’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure your health and safety, you should strongly consider filing a claim for damages. Our experienced team can guide you through what can be a challenging and complex process, but it’s necessary to recover from your injuries. The damages that are available in such a claim are:
- Medical expenses
- Property damages
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Punitive damages, in some cases
Like any accident, filing a claim after a Waymo self-driving taxi accident requires a thorough and detailed approach. To that end, seeking the legal assistance of our team can make sure your rights and interests are protected.
Experienced and Resourceful California Waymo Self-Driving Taxi Accident Lawyers
When you or a loved one are involved in an accident with a Waymo self-driving taxi, it can be incredibly frustrating. Any car accident carries some level of frustration, but accidents with Waymo’s self-driving taxis are unique in that it doesn’t involve another driver. Rather, it involves technology. This can be daunting, but with our team by your side, we can make sure you understand how California law applies and what you can do to hold the company accountable. Through our experience and resources, we can ensure that you get the benefits and support you need to recover. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more.