SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A video posted to Instagram on Friday showed a self-driving Waymo car in the middle of a San Francisco construction site. Waymo, an autonomous driving company headquartered in the Bay Area, said in a message to KRON4 that the incident happened by design.
The person filming the video said the car drove right into the area with nobody behind the wheel. The car then stopped as it came up on a large trench. “It doesn’t know what to do,” he said.
Waymo confirmed that the incident happened somewhere on Noriega Street around noon Thursday. Noriega Street is located in the Sunset District.
“A self-driving vehicle drives into a construction site and stops right before rolling into an open trench. It’s my first sighting of a autonomous vehicle in the city, with no one in it,” the Instagram caption read.
Waymo explained that since the cars operate in some of the country’s biggest cities, they sometimes are forced to navigate construction zones. In these scenarios, sometimes the best option is for the vehicle to halt, according to Waymo.
“If our autonomous driving system — the Waymo Driver – is not sure of the semantics, it may pull over or come to a stop if it’s assessed to be the safest course of action in that instance. We have teams and systems in place to assist the vehicle in these situations,” the statement read in part.
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Waymo said its system told the vehicle to stop. Employees then responded and “resolved the issue within a few minutes,” according to Waymo.
San Franciscans have probably seen Waymo cars around the city. The Mountain View-based company aims to operate safe, self-driving vehicles.
“It’s got waymo to learn. I don’t trust them yet,” said the man at the construction site.