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Waymo is training cops how to respond to autonomous car crashes

The outfit is also working with first responders in the cities where it tests.
Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
October 16, 2017
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Brendan McDermid / Reuters

There are a lot of hurdles to clear before autonomous cars can fully take over the roadways. Chief among them is training the police on how to react and handle a self-driving car error, as spotted by Recode. Currently, Waymo is working with local police forces and first responders in Arizona, California, Texas and Washington to educate them on how to identify and access an autonomous car in the event of an accident.

Furthermore, if there isn't a driver present, the car will find a safe place to stop if a collision happens or if there's a system error. Same goes for times when its sensors are essentially whited out during a snow storm or other inclement weather. After an accident, the car will send a crash report back home.

Waymo's cars are outfitted with audio sensors in addition to radar and LIDAR setups, which means that they can detect sirens in the distance. This benefit is two-fold. For one, it means that the car can react appropriately by pulling over to give emergency vehicles a wide berth. It also means that the vehicles can tell when help is arriving after a crash, and be ready when the police or paramedics arrive.

Insurance companies and governments are still figuring out the at-fault quandaries, and it seems like Alphabet is working to answer other questions regarding the non-human driver equation. There's an awful lot to chew on in Waymo's report, so if you need something to read this afternoon, hit the source links below.

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