Driverless cars are pretty much inevitable at this point, but in the process of their technologies becoming mainstream, incidents involving law enforcement are bound to occur. One such incident was captured on video, where it generated nearly 14 million views on popular social media platform TikTok.
The short clip, posted by TikTok user Johnny Romano under the username @johnnyromano3, featured a Jaguar I-PACE Waymo robotaxi being flagged by police. The policeman could be seen gesturing at the vehicle to pull over while passengers laughed at the fact that there was no driver behind the wheel.
POV: youre in a self driving car and the police get involded♬ original sound – Johnny Romano
Speaking about the experience with Insider, Romano stated that it was his first time in an autonomous robotaxi. Although the vehicle was pulled over by police, he was actually quite impressed by how the robotaxi handled the situation. Both Romano and Waymo confirmed that the incident took place in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 16, 2023.
According to Romano, the autonomous car had encountered a parade and a police officer earlier. The vehicle then tried to avoid the parade by going around the block, but it ended up turning towards the front of the parade instead of away from it. Fortunately, Romano noted that the police officer did not seem upset at all about the incident, as the vehicle was evidently driverless.
“It knew how to respond and essentially tried to avoid the parade. When it came across the second police officer, it figured out it needed to turn around,” he said.
Waymo reportedly responded to the incident quickly, with Romano noting that he received a call from the company’s support team. The caller reportedly stayed on the line until the trip was completed. A Waymo spokesperson also provided an explanation about the viral incident.
“In this particular case, the Waymo vehicle pulled to the side as desired, performed a multi-point turn, and successfully maneuvered out of the blocked lane within 90 seconds after the interaction with the police officer,” the spokesperson noted.
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