‘You Stay!’: Watch a Cop Yell at a Waymo Self-Driving Taxi Like a Dog
The Waymo Jaguar I-Pace wandered near an active firefighting scene when police intercepted it and treated it like a Labrador retriever.
Emergency responders and self-driving vehicles are getting together like drinking orange juice after brushing your teeth. The bad taste in police, fire, and medical crews stems from the cars’ inability to recognize human instructions or merely showing up at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Recent footage uncovered by Mission Local shows just how well emergency crews get a driverless vehicle to react and, to be honest, it looks a lot like how I got my puppy to stop rushing the door anytime someone knocked. “No, you stay!” the police officer can be heard on the video. (Lighting a road flare in the middle of the day may or may not have helped, but it reminded me of “Jurassic Park” and how to potentially distract a T-rex.)
According to Mission Local, the footage was from a Feb. 9 incident near San Francisco's Sunset District where crews responded to a fire. Once on scene, firefighters charged their hoses when the Waymo vehicle arrived. The fire crews wanted to keep the vehicle from running over their hoses, so police intervened with a road flare and very specific commands before eventually disabling the car and sending it away.
“Got a bit of a pickle, got an autonomous vehicle—Waymo—inching slowly and closely to one of the water lines,” the officer tells dispatch via radio. “Is there a way you can contact a responder to come out and disable this vehicle? I don’t trust this AI.
“Self-driving. This is where we’re at now with technology,” the officer appears to say sarcastically.
The Waymo vehicle sits in the intersection of 21st Avenue and Noriega Street in San Francisco while remote operators disabled the car. Toward the end of the video, it appears that someone entered the Waymo car and drove it out of the scene after it sat in the intersection alone like a scolded puppy. The self-driving taxi service said it's working on teaching its cars how to follow instructions from other drivers and emergency personnel. In the meantime, the cars unintentionally wandering into an active scene may have other benefits.
“It worked out because it’s like a barricade now,” the officer says.
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