First Responders

Waymo’s Sensors Detect Emergency Vehicles

Self-driving car pulls over for emergency vehicle

Waymo’s technology uses sensors to identify police or emergency vehicles by detecting their appearance, their sirens, and their emergency lights. Waymo is designed to yield as appropriate to these emergency vehicles no matter which direction they are headed.

Waymo Knows How to Pull Over

If a Waymo detects that a police or emergency vehicle is behind it with flashing lights, it is designed to pull the vehicle over and stop when it finds a safe place to do so.

  • The vehicle can unlock the doors and roll down the windows for Waymo’s Rider Support team to communicate with law enforcement. Rider Support can also be reached by pressing the Help button in the interior console accessible from the second row passenger seating area.
  • Waymo’s Rider Support specialists have protocols for interacting with any vehicle passengers in the event of the vehicle being pulled over or involved in a collision, by providing information through in-vehicle speakers, on the in-vehicle displays, and communicating with passengers through in-vehicle telecommunications capabilities.
  • A Waymo support team will be dispatched to provide on-scene support and first responders when needed.

Waymo Toll-Free Hotline for Emergency Responders

Waymo has established a toll-free 24-hour telephone hotline dedicated to allowing police, fire departments, and other first responders to communicate directly with Waymo’s professionally-trained specialists at any time during its testing and operation on public roads.

Waymo asks that emergency responders calling this hotline identify the numerical identifier of the vehicle in question, license plate, and any location information available.

Training for Police and Emergency Workers

Waymo briefs local authorities where it tests and offers a line of communication for further engagement. In some cities, Waymo also conducts on-site training to help police and other emergency workers identify and access its vehicles in emergency situations.

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