Waymo recalls software after Google-owned self-driving taxis hit truck


A Waymo Jaguar I-Pace SUV is seen driving on a road in San Francisco, California
Image: Nathan Frandino (Reuters)

Just days after an angry crowd set fire to a Waymo driverless taxi in San Francisco, the autonomous car company announced more bad news: It’s recalling all of its previous software.

Waymo, which is owned by Google parent Alphabet, said its current fleet has updated software and won’t be impacted by the recall announced Tuesday. But the recall is a signal that the autonomous car industry’s ongoing issues with regulators aren’t letting up.

Waymo and its rival Cruise sold themselves as safer alternatives to human-driven taxis, but have so far proven to be the opposite. Cruise hit a pedestrian in October 2023 and dragged her 20 feet, and other pedestrians reported concerns that the vehicles nearly hit them.

Now Waymo says it has filed a recall report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the software that was previously on its fleet. That’s because two Waymo cars crashed into the same truck being hauled by a tow truck minutes apart in December of last year.

Waymo’s announcement placed some blame on the pickup truck rather than its own software, saying that the truck was “being improperly towed” and “was persistently angled across a center turn lane and a traffic lane.”

The company said it’s “committed to improving road safety.”


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