Saturday, November 26, 2022 11:08 pm

Report: Tests show fully autonomous vehicles not ready for public roads

Waymo backup drivers, like the one in this recent photo, often can be seen with their hands on the steering wheel. A new study shows that autonomous technology is not yet ready to handle driving on its own, and that attentive drivers are still necessary. /Ray Stern


By Ray Stern | Phoenix New Times

Tests of vehicles with autonomous technology show flaws that could lead to crashes without attentive drivers, and imply that Waymo’s plan to put fully driverless vehicles on the road in metro Phoenix may be premature.

Recent real-world road tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety show that the semi-autonomous technology built into the newest high-tech cars now available for purchase is not reliable.

Although the institute didn’t test vehicles by Waymo, Uber, or other self-driving car companies, the findings released on Tuesday reveal that fully autonomous vehicles are not yet ready for public roads.

Waymo, owned by Google parent Alphabet, has been testing its self-driving cars in the Phoenix area for more than a year. The company claims it has vehicles with no backup drivers regularly driving the streets, and that it will launch a fully driverless ride hailing service in metro Phoenix no later than the end of this December.


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