What if your “quiet” neighborhood had a slew of self-driving vehicles entering on a daily basis? If you don’t live on a dead-end street, this may not be much of an issue, but for the residents of the San Francisco Bay Area this is not the case.
It appears that Waymo’s semi-autonomous cars are unaware that the side street has no exit, so they enter and then need to figure out how to turn around and leave the area. Several additional Waymo vehicles continue on their way into the residential neighborhood every few minutes, creating a jam and strange noises throughout the night as residents try to sleep.
Neighbors are “buzzing” about the situation, according to CBS San Francisco Bay Area news, with “an explosion” of traffic in the area. Now, the peaceful dead-end street is constantly packed with vehicles. It’s not a heavily travelled road or intersection, but Waymo’s self-driving cars seem to be flocking there for an unknown reason.
People living on 15th Avenue in the Richmond District are concerned about Waymo cars because of this. Every day and night, the Waymo automobiles cruise through the neighborhood. They have a difficult time turning around at the dead-end street and must instead start a three-point turn to leave the community before returning. Jennifer King of CBS said:
“I noticed it while I was sleeping. I awoke to a strange hum and I thought there was a spacecraft outside my bedroom window.”
She also remarked that the cars come and go all day, with no true halt. When one Waymo vehicle finds out how to depart the area, another is on its way in. King added:
“There are some days where it can be up to 50. It’s literally every five minutes. And we’re all working from home, so this is what we hear.”
The Waymo self-driving cars get clumped up in mass because they “seem baffled by the dead end.” It makes leaving even more difficult for the vehicles, not to mention residents’ freedom of movement.
Neighbors have discussed with the automobile’s safety drivers and received little information. They believe that the Waymo vehicles will follow the road on their own, so the drivers are simply doing their job.
According to locals, the problem began six to eight weeks ago. Fortunately, no injuries or property damage have been reported as a result of this, although the possibility for an issue in a residential area with continuous autonomous transportation is somewhat concerning.
Meanwhile, Tesla is using customers to beta-test its Full Self-Driving software. The drivers, on the other hand, retain control of the car at all times. If a vehicle with FSD Beta entered the neighborhood and couldn’t figure out what to do or how to turn around, the driver may simply put it in gear and pull away. It’s unlikely that a Tesla owner would return down that street again.
It’s odd that these Waymo vehicles would be “programmed” to go into a residential neighborhood on a daily basis for months, and the residents want answers. Fortunately, after calling CBS, Waymo has agreed to investigate the situation.