Like many residents of the Grand Canyon State, you may be wondering about the safety of autonomous vehicles, especially after the Arizona Republic reported Waymo’s plans for a fleet expansion through its planned Technical Service Center in Mesa. Although Waymo’s self-driving cars reflect a growing industry, the rules of the road that apply to vehicles operated by human beings must still be followed. The legal issues also remain the same; any harm or injuries resulting from a collision with a driverless car may be grounds for a civil action brought against the company operating it.
Waymo started out as Google’s competitor to the popular rideshare companies Uber and Lyft. In 2016, the company began testing its fleet of driverless vehicles by carrying passengers through its test routes in Chandler. It then increased its presence in the Phoenix region by introducing its self-driving taxis to the streets of Mesa, Tempe and Ahwatukee. Waymo considers the Metro Phoenix area as the best possible choice for a testing ground to help improve its driverless vehicle technology and service capabilities.
You may not, however, be entirely appreciative of how Arizona will be used to beta test self-driving cars before Waymo expands its fleet throughout the nation. You may also feel that accidents involving pedestrians and human drivers will increase as what may be hundreds of driverless vehicles appear on the streets and roads. While the new fleet is being tried, tested and altered to meet national highway regulations, it may be in your best interests to maintain an extra degree of awareness and take additional precautions.
Our page on car accidents provides more information about your rights to a legal action should you require help to recover from vehicle-related injuries or damages.