How Driverless Waymo and Cruise Robotaxis Deal With Double Parked Cars

Not one but two videos emerged today showing encounters between robotaxis from Cruise and Waymo that ran into situations in San Francisco where vehicles parked in second lanes forced them to take evasive action, but the vehicles resolved the same situation differently.

In the first, Bloomsberg reporter Emily Chang sits in a Cruise and the total of 40 minutes of driverless driving during the day passes without any incidents, except for one where, after Chang got out and the Cruise now wanted to continue on its own, a truck in the second lane obstructs the Cruise from leaving its parking position and cars driven by humans give the Cruise the right of way. And then it happens that at 1:15 a driverless Waymo follows the human drivers and also passes the Cruise.

In the second video we see how a concrete mix truck is parked in second lane, but the opposite lane is blocked by a driverless Cruise that wanted to pass the truck. The perspective from the video is from a driverless Waymo, which therefore cannot go any further.

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We then see after a few seconds of standstill a message on the screen “Our team is working to get you moving.” This is apparently a message from the Waymo teleoperator, who uses text prompts to instruct the vehicle how to move forward. But it doesn’t get that far, because the truck starts to move on, and the Waymo can simply follow it, past the stuck Cruise.

This article was also published in German.

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