Driverless Waymo taxi gets stuck in Chandler traffic, runs from support crew

A driverless Waymo taxi was caught on camera going rogue on a Chandler intersection near a construction site last week.

The company told the passenger at the time that the vehicle was confused with cones blocking a lane. 

"Went to the Safeway and back, tried to turn right, but the lane it wanted to turn into was blocked by cones," said Joel Johnson, the taxi passenger.

Johnson braced himself in the backseat, unable to do anything to stop the car. It blocked halfway between lanes and then backed up, blocking the full lane.

When support crews tried to stop the car, the Waymo One decided to make for a quick getaway.

"They almost got to the car and then it drove away again," Johnson said. "It was just like a whole mess."

The Waymo company, owned by Alphabet, has about 600 vehicles. 300 of those operate in the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe area. 

The company has a remote assistance team to help confused vehicles, but they told Johnson that a remote specialist gave "incorrect guidance" and made it hard for the Waymo taxi to get back on track.

Johnson says despite this bump in the road, he’ll continue to ride in these self driving cars. 

"Don't write off the technology," he said. "I have over 1000 miles in these cars and I still feel safe so don’t write it off just cause of one thing like this."

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