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Authorities reportedly probing crash between Waymo driverless car and bicyclist


California regulators are reportedly looking into a crash in San Francisco between a Waymo self-driving car and a bicyclist.

The driverless taxi struck the cyclist in an intersection in San Francisco’s Mission District on Tuesday afternoon. The cyclist was lightly injured but did not require hospitalization. A passenger in the vehicle was uninjured.

Reuters reported Wednesday that Waymo — which is Alphabet’s
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autonomous driving unit — contacted the relevant authorities, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles is reviewing the incident. The San Francisco Police Department is also reportedly investigating the crash.

In a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle, Waymo said a large truck obstructed the vehicle’s view of the cyclist, and the Waymo car was not able to brake in time to avoid a collision.

Waymo did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Wednesday.

Waymo has touted its safety record, saying its vehicles are involved in “far fewer crashes” than comparable human drivers. Waymo opened its driverless taxi service to the general public in San Francisco in October, and the distinctive vehicles are ubiquitous on city streets. It also operates in Los Angeles, Phoenix and Austin, Texas.

The safety of self-driving vehicles have been under increased scrutiny since an autonomous car operated by GM’s
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Cruise struck a pedestrian in San Francisco in October, and dragged her about 20 feet. Regulators alleged Cruise tried to cover up some details of the incident, and an administrative judge on Tuesday ripped into Cruise for its behavior following the crash.

After that crash, Cruise’s license to operate in California was revoked, and the company suspended all of its driverless-car operations. Cruise’s leadership was also purged, and about a quarter of its workforce was laid off.

Last month, Cruise disclosed it is facing multiple investigations, including ones by the Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission, over the crash.

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