Google's Waymo self-driving car division on Wednesday brought California Highway Patrol officers to the classroom to go teach them how to deal with self-driving cars.
KNTV reported that Waymo employees showed the highway patrol officers not only how to pull over an autonomous vehicle but how self-driving cars actually operate. Waymo provided instructions on how to disable the self-driving mode, what to do when the car may need to be towed, how to approach the vehicle in a flood, and the company showed officers the best place to cut if passengers inside need rescuing.
Officers are already encountering self-driving cars on the road today, at least on a small scale. Last month, a report surfaced that a Tesla Model S with the driver asleep had Autopilot engaged. The California Highway Patrol had no choice but to get creative and drive in front of and behind the car in its autonomous mode until it came to a full stop. One day, self-driving cars will understand flashing lights and pull over for emergency service vehicles.
The officers agreed it wasn't only about having autonomous vehicle pull over, but the need to understand how the car actually operates.
Meanwhile, Waymo is busy expanding its footprint in Arizona. The company said Tuesday that it will open a new technical service center in Mesa, Arizona. The new center will give Waymo the ability to expand its fleet of Chrysler Pacifica-based self-driving cars and service them appropriately.
Waymo added that Arizona offers an ideal arrangement to continue testing self-driving cars and technology due to its weather, street layouts, and population of human-driven vehicles that help the technology mature.