For once, saying “a car hit a cyclist” is correct. Normally at Canadian Cycling Magazine, we would say a motorist or driver hits a cyclist–because it’s not about a car doing it, is it? People drive vehicles, and thus when they hit a rider, it’s their fault, not their rig.
Well not this time.
The San Francisco Police Department told SFGATE that a Waymo car hit a cyclist in the area of 17th and Mississippi streets at about 3 p.m on Tuesday. Waymo, formerly known as the Google Self-Driving Car Project, uses autonomous driving tech to pick up passengers with its taxi service.
Waymo has been active in the city for more than ten years, significantly expanding its operations in 2021. In 2022, it received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to offer taxi services to the public. Presently, the company has approximately 250 cars in the city, although they are not all in service simultaneously.
According to police, officers rushed to the scene and found the cyclist with non-life-threatening injuries. SFPD said the collision is under investigation and did not provide details on what caused the cyclist and autonomous vehicle to collide.
Waymo released a statement about the collision. The vehicle came to a complete stop at a four-way intersection before advancing into the intersection, coinciding with the presence of a large truck traveling in the opposite direction “The cyclist was obscured by the truck and quickly followed behind it, crossing into the Waymo vehicle’s path. When they became fully visible, our vehicle applied heavy braking but was not able to avoid the collision,” the statement read.
Apparently, the cyclist was thankfully not hurt too badly, “reporting only minor scratches.” The passenger in the self-driving car was uninjured.