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Training for US Cops to Handle Self-Driving Car Crashes

Waymo has been conducting on-site training with some of the local police departments in the cities where it is testing cars.Waymo has been conducting on-site training with some of the local police departments in the cities where it is testing cars.

Alphabet’s self driving car division Waymo has been testing its fleet of robot cars in four states across the US — Washington, California, Arizona, and Texas — and it has started to work with local law enforcement agencies and first responders to figure out what to do after a collision and create new protocols.

That includes what a fully driverless car should do when it detects a siren coming toward it as well as how police officers or first responders can access the cars in emergency situations, news website Recode.net reported.

In a new 43-page report that Waymo published Thursday, the company detailed some of its efforts to respond to (and avoid) collisions. Those efforts can be broken up into three parts: How the cars stop in unsafe working conditions; how the cars respond to sirens/emergency vehicles; and what happens after an accident.

All fully self-driving cars will have to be able to pull over safely in the event of a collision or a system failure. Put simply, if a car is completely driverless there will not be a safety driver to take back manual control of the vehicle so the system will have to know when to stop and recalibrate.

Sometimes, stopping will not be necessary. If it is a system failure, the backup sensors, computers, brakes and power sources will automatically kick in.

The software in the car will be able to determine if a sensor or another part of the system is failing or if driving conditions become too difficult like during a snow storm. This is also the case during a collision. The car will automatically detect the accident and find a place to stop.

Once the car automatically detects a crash, it will send that information to Waymo’s remote operating centers. That team will then send specialists to the location as needed but will also communicate with local law enforcement.

Waymo has been conducting on-site training with some of the local police departments in the cities where it is testing cars. The company is teaching police and first responders how to recognize and then access a self-driving car.

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