A Waymo driverless robotaxi was involved in a rather sci-fi-esque situation in Phoenix, Arizona, where it was instructed by a police officer to pull over to let an oncoming vehicle pass, during a parade.
The video of the encounter was posted on TikTok by Johnny Romano, who was in the back seat of the autonomous Jaguar, trying to tell the police officer that there is nobody in the driver’s seat, all whilst laughing at the whole situation.
"Sir, we cannot move," he can be heard saying in the video. "We're sorry. This car won't let us move. We're not driving."
The video gathered over 14 million views on TikTok, which subsequently led Business Insider to talk to Romano, who said that it was his first time riding in a self-driving car and that he was actually impressed by how the Waymo vehicle handled the incident.
The TikTok user said that the car had already encountered the parade once before, as well as another police officer and that it tried to avoid the event by going around the block, but ended up facing the front of the parade instead of moving away from it.
Additionally, Business Insider reported that someone from Waymo support called the vehicle in question when the issue occurred and remained on the line until the passengers got to their destination.
What’s more impressive, however, is that the driverless Jaguar I-Pace reportedly did exactly what it should have done, moving to the side of the road as instructed by the police officer which can be seen in the video embedded above.
"In this particular case, the Waymo vehicle pulled to the side as desired, and then performed a multi-point turn and successfully maneuvered out of the blocked lane within 90 seconds after the interaction with the police officer," a Waymo spokesperson said for Business Insider.
The same spokesperson added that the Alphabet-owned robotaxi company is using advanced machine learning to teach the vehicles how to respond to hand signals and construction signs.
This isn’t the first time a self-driving taxi had an encounter with law enforcement. Back in April 2022, San Francisco police pulled over a Cruise-operated Chevrolet Bolt EV and, much to their surprise, found out that there was nobody inside the vehicle.