After Chekpeds testified on autonomous vehicles, Waymo called us to discuss what they were doing for safety and we engaged in a productive dialogue. We asked them to answer the following questions:
- Left or right turns – car has the green light on the avenue . the pedestrian has the walk signal on the cross street. Will the turning car yield to the pedestrian who has the priority ? (including turns from exterior lanes or from the middle lane on a two way street)
- Left or right turns along a bike lane – car has the green light on the avenue
- the cyclist has a green light on the bike path. Will the turning car yield to the approaching cyclist who has the priority ? Will it calculate velocity of cyclist ?
- the pedestrian has a the walk signal on the cross street . there is no cyclist immediately approaching – Will the turning car yield to the pedestrian who has the priority AND stop before crossing the bike lane so that it does not block it ?
- Gridlock – the car has a green light (straight or turning ) but there is a back up in traffic and not enough space to accommodate the full length of the car on the other side of the intersection (includes the pedestrian crossings). Will the car stop before the intersection/pedestrian crossing and wait for the space to be available ?
- Visibility – on a giant SUV in a parking situation, will the car detect a child crossing in front, or in the back . On SUVs and trucks/buses, will the system detect cyclists on the vehicle rear right or left?
- Pedestrian platoons – large volume of pedestrians cross the street at red light. Light turns green. Will the car remain stopped until all pedestrians have crossed and not inch forward? ( also applies to right and left turns).
As 83% of the US population lives in Urban areas and that number will grow to 89% in 2050, we cannot afford to repeat the mistake made over the last 30 years – what we call “Ralph’s legacy” – where all the safety measures are geared at the drivers .
We ‘d like to test these scenarios in New York city with the AVs manufacturers. In fact we would be delighted to deliver to them a seal of approval.