A group of driverless Cruise Robotaxis blocked traffic for hours in San Francisco on Tuesday evening after cars stopped working without explanation.
Details of the incident were shared on Reddit (and seen by techcrunch) and explain how driverless vehicles still face teething problems in real-life settings.
Cruz, which is backed by General Motors and Honda, has been testing its technology in San Francisco since February, but only launched a commercial robottaxi service last week. The cars have no human safety drivers, but operate under certain restrictions. They only offer lift on “select roads” between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., when weather conditions are favorable, and cannot drive faster than 30 mph.
Photos of the driverless road show that at least five vehicles have stopped on the road. The Redditor who shared the photos said that the incident happened around midnight.
“The first thing I say to my co-worker is that they are getting together to kill us,” said Redditor Sinsingh in a comment. “It was a very surreal incident. Humans had to come over and manually move the cars. Cruise should be fined for closing the road for so long. They also did it so that the street sweepers would be able to move across the street.” Couldn’t hit the block.
Sensinha said cruise crews showed the incident “in twenty minutes”, but it took them a long time to actually move the cars. “It was a big defeat,” he said.
A spokesman for Cruise acknowledged the incident in a statement. techcrunchBut it did not give any details about why this happened, and whether the problem could happen again in the future.
“Earlier this week we had an issue that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together,” the spokesperson said. “While this was resolved and no passengers were affected, we apologize for the inconvenience caused to anyone.”
This isn’t the first accident involving Cruise’s driverless technology. Earlier this year, a police officer Tried to pull off a cruise robotaxi, apparently because the headlights of the car were turned off at night. Cruz later said that the incident was caused by “human error”. “Our AV turned in front of a police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for a traffic stop,” the company said. “An officer contacted cruise personnel and no citation was issued.”