Waymo, the driverless car company operating an autonomous taxi fleet in San Francisco, is suing the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The immediate issue: whether the company, owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc., can hide from the public safety-related information by designating it as a trade secret.
The topics Waymo wants to keep hidden include how it plans to handle driverless car emergencies, what it would do if a robot taxi started driving itself where it wasn’t supposed to go, and what constraints there are on the car’s ability to traverse San Francisco’s tunnels, tight curves and steep hills. Waymo also wants to keep secret descriptions of crashes involving its driverless cars.
That’s among the information the DMV requires to determine whether to issue permits to deploy robot vehicles on public roads.
The permit was issued last year. Waymo is focusing on San Francisco, where, for the time being, its robotaxis operate under the supervision of trained human drivers.
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