One of Waymo's self-driving minivans gets caught in a road crash

One of Waymo's self-driving minivans has been involved in a road crash in Arizona, the company has confirmed, though in this instance there doesn't seem to have been much the self-driving car could've done to avoid a hit – the video you can see below shows another car swerving straight into it.

Waymo became the new home for Google's self-driving car efforts back in 2016, and recently started testing some routes without safety drivers. In this case a driver was on board and was injured in the accident.

As per the Chandler Police Department report, a vehicle on the other side of the road had to swerve to avoid a collision, only to cross over to the other side of the road and smash straight into the Waymon minivan. You can see Waymo's footage of the incident below.

"Today while testing our self-driving vehicle in Chandler, Arizona, another car traveling in an oncoming lane swerved across the median and struck our minivan," Waymo said in a statement to SlashGear. "We are concerned about the well-being and safety of our test driver and wish her a full recovery."

Uber has suspended its self-driving car operations in Arizona after a pedestrian was struck down and killed. On this occasion though, the blame would appear to lie with old-fashioned flesh-and-blood human drivers.

There are conflicting reports about whether the minivan was in autonomous or manual mode at the time of the accident. Waymo regularly publishes safety reports on the progress of its autonomous technology and we can probably expect to hear more about this incident in due course. 

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.