A gaggle of Cruise autonomous autos blocked site visitors Tuesday evening in San Francisco. The site visitors jam, which a witness estimated concerned greater than a dozen of the robotaxis, was not resolved till human operators eliminated the autos.
Drew Pusateri, a spokesperson for Cruise, acknowledged the occasion in a written assertion to Automotive News.
“We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together,” he stated. “While it was resolved and no passengers were impacted, we apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.”
Pusateri wouldn’t elaborate on the trigger except for it being a “technical issue.”
The incident occurred on the intersection of Gough and Fulton Streets and was first publicized in a Reddit put up on r/sanfrancisco.
Cruise, an autonomous-vehicle firm majority-owned by General Motors, commercially launched its self-driving taxi service in restricted areas of San Francisco between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. simply final week.
This was not the primary incident of a Cruise automobile blocking site visitors. In May, a check automobile blocked a San Francisco fireplace truck from responding to an emergency. It was considered one of quite a few incidents involving the Cruise fleet registered by San Francisco officers.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency has repeatedly raised considerations over the reliability and security of the Cruise autonomous fleet. A letter despatched to the California Public Utilities Commission by the company in November claimed the corporate’s robotaxis had been “not currently designed to comply with state and local traffic regulations.” Cruise responded with its personal letter, refuting the company’s claims, in December.
The fee finally granted the allow permitting Cruise’s business launch on June 23.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency didn’t reply to requests for touch upon the most recent incidents, which might increase extra widespread questions on AV operations within the metropolis and past.
Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst for Guidehouse Insights, stated the Tuesday evening site visitors jam might spur extra adverse sentiment towards autonomous autos.
“It’s the case with anything new, any new technology,” Abuelsamid stated. “If people start to see problems with it, then they’re going to mistrust it.”
He believes extra transparency is the important thing to proving to customers that AVs are secure.
“There needs to be more transparency,” Abuelsamid stated. “There needs to be more transparency about how they’re developing this stuff, and how they’re validating it and proving that it is safe and reliable.”
Although Cruise is first to launch business operations within the metropolis, it has been a hotbed of autonomous testing. Rival Waymo has agency plans to launch in San Francisco and has established a “Trusted Tester” program there. Zoox additionally eyes San Francisco as a foundational market.