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Stalled Waymo creates traffic chaos in the Mission

Stalled Waymo car sits on 16th Street in the Mission. | Julie Zigoris/The Standard

A Waymo car stalled inside a construction zone on the Mission’s 16th Street sowed chaos Friday morning.

The driverless car, apparently confused by the cones and construction signs along the major corridor, stopped dead on 16th Street between South Van Ness Avenue and Capp Street.

Riders of Muni’s 22 bus stuck behind the Waymo vehicle exited in frustration. “Another freaking Waymo stuck again,” one rider muttered.

Driverless cars have been stalling across the Bay Area, causing confusion and creating hazards. They appear particularly vulnerable to construction sites, which they don’t seem to know how to navigate.

While the bus operator of the blocked 22 said it was the first time he’d been stuck behind a driverless car, it’s certainly not the first time the autonomous vehicles have created chaos.

Last October, there were numerous reports of a dead-end street in the Richmond where Waymo cars were piling up.

San Francisco is the epicenter of autonomous vehicle testing—of the nearly 140 driverless vehicle collisions reported to the California DMV as of early December 2022, the overwhelming majority of crashes occurred in the city.

Amid increasing safety and traffic concerns around the growing presence of autonomous vehicles on Bay Area streets, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a resolution in December that calls on regulators to address these issues and established an official city policy regarding driverless cars.