Video shows safety driver of WeRide test car asleep behind the wheel

Video shows safety driver of WeRide test car asleep behind the wheelVideo shows safety driver of WeRide test car asleep behind the wheel
Ryan General
October 14, 2021
Last month, a safety driver behind the wheel of a WeRide test robocar was captured on film apparently asleep while traveling on highway 85 in San Jose, Calif. 
Robo-autonomy in the open road: WeRide, a Chinese autonomous driving company based in Guangzhou and California, received a driverless permit to test two passenger vehicles on California’s public roads in April, reported Reuters.
  • While the permit allows tests without a human operator behind the wheel, companies are still expected to have a “safety driver” who can take over in case of a system error or a potential accident. 
  • In the initial phase of such tests, vehicles usually have two people inside — one at the wheel watching the road and the other in charge of the software, according to Forbes. 
  • With being completely driverless as the ultimate goal for the car, the number of safety staff is reduced to one when confidence in the system improves.
Safety’s off: In the video that emerged online, the safety driver inside the WeRide test robocar appeared to doze off for at least 45 seconds before presumably later waking up.
  • According to the person who uploaded the video, the car eventually accelerated and left the highway, which may indicate that the driver had taken over.
  • WeRide has since revealed that the driver was suspended and eventually terminated following an investigation that determined that he failed to follow prescribed safety protocols.
  • According to WeRide, they monitor the driving tests with “the operator in a control center and the in-vehicle driver (who) cross-check each other in regular mode throughout the road test to closely monitor the performance of the driver.”
  • Acknowledging that such a method is “not the best way to monitor safety drivers’ status,” the company said it is continuously “optimizing [its] system and mechanism to reduce human intervention during [the] test to ensure the safety.”
Featured Image via Mr.Kolsch
Share this Article
© 2024 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.