- A former Waymo driver was arrested in Arizona on Wednesday and accused of deliberately causing a crash with one of the company’s self-driving minivans.
- A video taken by the van, which was being operated manually at the time, showed a car swerve in front of it and brake abruptly.
- Tempe police said Tang was charged with counts of aggravated assault, criminal damage, reckless driving, and endangerment.
- Waymo described Tang as a “disgruntled” former vehicle operator who was let go last year after failing to meet its safety standards.
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An ex-Waymo driver was arrested in Arizona on Wednesday after police said he intentionally caused a crash with one of the company’s self-driving minivans last month.
Tempe police said Raymond Tang, 31, “targeted” two Waymo vans, recklessly driving his Mazda around them before braking abruptly in front of one, causing it to rear-end his vehicle.
Video taken by a dashboard camera on Waymo the van, which was being operated by a driver in manual mode at the time, shows the Mazda swerve in front before quickly coming to a full stop in front of it, at which point the vehicles collided.
Tang has been charged on counts of aggravated assault, criminal damage, reckless driving, and endangerment, according to a police spokesperson.
Waymo described Tang as a “disgruntled former Genesis10 vehicle operator whose assignment with Waymo ended nearly a year ago when he failed to meet the high safety standards,” and said that Tang had been arrested previously on “misdemeanor charges for disorderly conduct and criminal damage” for a similar incident last November.
Waymo relies on contractors like Genesis10, which provides drivers for its vehicles. The Verge reported that some have complained about their benefits being slashed as the result of recent changes to their employment status.
Waymo also said the driver of the van involved in the accident was initially taken to the hospital after reporting neck pain, but has since been released with minor injuries.