Self-Driving Fleet Causes Traffic Disruption on Foggy Morning in SF


A group of five Waymo self-driving vehicles baffled some residents in San Francisco’s Balboa Terrace neighborhood after they stopped in the middle of a residential street early April 11. Waymo later explained the event. 

The incident occurred shortly before 6 a.m. on San Aleso Avenue. At the time, visibility was not optimal due to fog in the area. Other motorists were forced to cautiously navigate around the self-driving cars, one of which was reportedly straddling the center lane. 

Gene Valla, a Balboa Terrace resident, described his encounter with the self-driving vehicles, saying he initially blinked his car's headlights at the Waymo fleet. When he got out of his car to investigate, he found the vehicles were operating without a driver. 

“They were just idling,” Valla told the San Francisco Chronicle

Another driver was in the area, also blinking his car's headlights as he approached the autonomous cars. The other driver eased past the stopped Waymo fleet. Valla backed out of the intersection and drove around the block to park in front of his house. He estimated the Waymo cars remained stationary for at least six minutes before the first one started moving again.

Per a KRON4 report, Waymo later said the vehicles pulled over temporarily when they encountered fog. The vehicles were back on the move once the fog cleared up. The autonomous driving company also noted software updates are planned to improve its fleet’s performance during foggy conditions. 

We thank Teslarati for reprint permission.

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