Incident 640: Waymo Software Flaw Leads to Double Collision with Tow Truck

Description: Two Waymo autonomous vehicles hit the same tow truck under unusual towing conditions due to a software misinterpretation in Phoenix, Arizona. Waymo issued a software recall and updated its fleet to prevent future incidents.


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Alleged: Waymo and Alphabet developed an AI system deployed by Waymo, which harmed Unnamed owner of tow truck.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Daniel Atherton
Voluntary recall of our previous software · 2024
Mauricio Peña post-incident response

Earlier today, we voluntarily filed a recall report with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for software that was previously on our fleet. We chose to do this after consultation with NHTSA and our own internal review…

Waymo Software Flaw Leads to Double Collision with Tow Truck · 2024
Peter Valdes-Dapena post-incident response

Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google's parent company, Alphabet, issued a recall for its own self-driving car software after two of its vehicles hit the same truck minutes apart.

Minutes apart from one another, two Waymo cars came…

Two Self-Driving Waymo Taxis Get Confused By A Pickup Being Towed Backwards, Crash Into It · 2024

The idea of a robotaxi is quite appealing. It’s a car that takes you where you want to go, and neither you, nor anybody else, has to worry about driving. The reality of robotaxis is altogether different. Many of us are concerned about syste…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.