Join the free TruckingTrend newsletter to see the latest news first.
The no-fluff trucking stories you need to see.
Latest News Top Stories Videos Traffic Weather

Waymo recalls software after self-driving cars hit tow truck

After an incident in December 2023 involving two of its self-driving vehicles hitting the same towed pickup truck in Phoenix, Waymo has initiated a voluntary recall of the software used in its autonomous vehicle fleet.

Why it matters: Although there were no passengers in the Waymo vehicles at the time and the crashes resulted in minor damage and no injuries, the recall highlights potential challenges facing the self-driving car industry, especially regarding unusual road scenarios.

What happened: Both incidents involved a Waymo vehicle making contact with a pickup truck being improperly towed in such a way that it crossed traffic lanes. The unusual persistent orientation of the towed truck led to incorrect predictions by the Waymo vehicles' software about its future motion.

The response: Waymo reported the crashes to the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Department of Public Safety, initiating a swift review and update of the software. The update roll-out began on December 20, 2023, and was completed by January 12, 2024, as detailed in Waymo's blog.

Between the lines: The voluntary recall is an assertion from Waymo of their dedication to public safety and transparent communication. It showcases the company's commitment to amend even rare software mistakes.

  • Waymo's updated software aims to prevent a repeat of this scenario and reinforce the safety of its technology in unexpected road conditions.

Big picture: Waymo has accumulated over 10 million miles of fully autonomous driving and has conducted more than 1 million ride-hailing trips, emphasizing safety in their ongoing expansion to new cities.

  • The company asserts that their autonomous vehicle technology has led to significantly fewer police-reported and injury-causing crashes compared to human drivers in the cities they operate.

Cybersecurity risks in trucking: Experts warn of ELD vulnerabilities

A Colorado State University study exposes cybersecurity threats in the trucking industry through vulnerable Electronic Logging Devices that could risk vehicle control and data security.
Read more ⟶

Atchafalaya Basin Bridge update ends split speed limits for trucks and cars

Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin Bridge implements a uniform 60 mph speed limit for all vehicles and sets right-lane-only rules for trucks to enhance road safety.
Read more ⟶

FMCSA studies detention time's impact on trucker safety and efficiency

FMCSA initiates a study to understand the impact of shipping delays on truck driver safety and commercial vehicle operations, focusing on detention time and its effects on compliance, safety, and economic costs.
Read more ⟶