June 19, 2024

NHTSA investigating Alphabet’s Waymo after autonomous driving incidents

The top US auto-safety regulator initiated an inquiry into Waymo, the self-driving vehicle subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., following 22 incidents involving collisions or potential traffic violations by the company’s cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Office of Defect Investigation began a preliminary assessment after receiving reports of Waymo vehicles colliding with objects such as gates, chains, and parked cars. Additionally, there were instances where Waymo’s autonomous driving system seemed to disregard traffic signals.

NHTSA’s initial investigations suggest that Waymo’s system was active during the incidents, with some cases of disengagement by an in-car test driver just before the accidents. The evaluation encompasses approximately 444 vehicles, according to documents released on the agency’s website.

Waymo responded in a statement, expressing confidence in its safety performance over millions of autonomous miles driven and its dedication to safety transparency. The company assured cooperation with NHTSA during the ongoing investigation.


1. What prompted NHTSA’s investigation into Waymo?

NHTSA opened the inquiry following 22 incidents involving Waymo vehicles, including collisions and potential traffic violations.

2. How many vehicles are estimated to be part of the probe?

Approximately 444 vehicles are included in NHTSA’s investigation of Waymo.


NHTSA’s scrutiny of autonomous vehicles, including Waymo, signifies the regulatory oversight necessary for ensuring road safety in the evolving automotive landscape. Waymo’s commitment to transparency and cooperation with the investigation are essential for maintaining trust in autonomous driving technology.

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