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Waymo pauses testing fearing US election unrest

Testing will resume on Thursday, all being well

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As the American election results unfold, Google’s self-driving division Waymo has pulled its cars from the streets fearing “unrest” in the coming days.

According to The Verge, Waymo is “temporarily pausing” its autonomous vehicles tests in San Francisco for two days, starting Tuesday, November 3. The company has moved its fleet to Mountain View to be stored at a “secured location.” Trasndev, the company that operates the fleet, shared the news in an email seen by The Verge.

[Read: 4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly]

The decision was taken “out of an abundance of caution ahead of some of the planned protests around the general election,” Chris Cheung, general manager at Transdev North America, wrote in the email.

If you were thinking the cars drove themselves to the secure lockup, think again.

Two safety drivers were reportedly told on Monday to drive their vehicles to Mountain View that afternoon. They then had to hail a ride on Uber and Lyft to get back to their base — oh the irony.

Drivers will be reimbursed for these rides, and are still going to be paid while testing remains temporarily paused.

Alongside Cheung’s statement, a Waymo spokesperson has said: “Out of an abundance of caution and with the safety of our team in mind, we are temporarily suspending driving operations in San Francisco on 11/3 and 11/4.”


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Published November 4, 2020 — 09:20 UTC