This San Francisco alley receives dozens of autonomous Waymo cars every day – they all end up there by mistake
It’s not nice living right now on one end of Fifteenth Avenue in San Francisco. For a few days is the unintended destination of many Waymo self-driving cars, Google’s initiative that has been testing in the city for some time. Something is making them pile up there.
“It happens literally every five minutes”
Some neighbors have reported the problem to The Next Web. The cars appear at the end of the avenue, which has no exit, they make maneuvers to turn and leave. The problem comes when one of those cars appears “every five minutes”, which can cause up to fifty cars to crowd some days.
The behavior of cars, moreover, causes a queue to form and a traffic jam on a street precisely where traffic is limited to improve the quality of life for residents. And it happens both at night and during the day, which can wake people up and annoy them.
Waymo is aware of the problem and has issued a statement about it, arguing that cars continually conform to San Francisco traffic regulations and that that half-turn that taxis make on Fifteenth Avenue It is due to signs on the street that intersect just before the end of the avenue. “The driver obeys the signals as every car should do.”
On the one hand it is true that you have to respect the rules, but Waymo’s cars are doing it so to the letter that they go through a dead end to turn around at the end. A human driver and his common sense would see the sign of “no exit” present in the street and avoid all that route.
It is to be expected that over time Waymo’s algorithms will learn to circumvent this curious route that their cars end up taking, but for now the neighbors will have to continue watching how they do this improvised “parade” down their street.