A video just lately posted on-line exhibits what occurs when police attempt to apprehend an autonomous automobile – solely to search out no person inside.
Police in San Francisco stopped a automobile operated by Cruise, an autonomous automotive firm backed by Common Motors, in a video posted on 1 April. Officers approached the automotive, which had been driving with out headlights, solely to search out it was empty.
“Ain’t no person in it – that is loopy,” a bystander may be heard saying within the video. The automotive then speeds away to the opposite facet of the intersection, leaving the police behind.
The video, which has since circulated broadly on social media, prompted inevitable jokes. “Welcome to the long run,” quipped one Twitter person.
Cruise is working to deploy its autonomous driving know-how for ride-hailing functions, transporting riders across the metropolis with out a driver. It has been testing its automobiles with a backup driver within the entrance seat since 2015, however it began permitting customers to hail driverless vehicles in San Francisco in November 2021.
The corporate stated in a tweet that the automobile had behaved as anticipated by shifting to a safer location on the opposite facet of the intersection the place police had been capable of deal with their issues.
“Our AV yielded to the police automobile, then pulled over to the closest secure location, as meant. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no quotation was issued,” Cruise stated on its company Twitter account.
A Cruise spokeswoman, Tiffany Testo, instructed the Guardian that the automobile “didn’t have its headlights on due to a human error, which was the explanation the SFPD approached it, and we have now fastened the difficulty that led to this”. She added that the corporate supplied a telephone quantity for police to name with questions any time a automobile is pulled over. The SFPD didn’t instantly reply to request for remark concerning the incident or about its insurance policies for driverless automobiles.
The viral video underscores the bumps within the street as firms race to place absolutely autonomous automobiles on streets.
The Cruise video comes simply weeks after Waymo, one other autonomous automotive firm, introduced it might deploy driverless automobiles in San Francisco. Waymo has been engaged on autonomous driving know-how for greater than a decade and operating absolutely driverless rides in Arizona for greater than a yr.
However driverless automotive glitches have made headlines up to now, together with a Waymo automobile that turned caught at an intersection and required rescue.
Waymo stated in March it might permit passengers in its driverless vehicles on a trial foundation. To partake, riders should apply for a waitlist and signal non-disclosure agreements to get early entry.
Nuro, one other autonomous automotive firm, additionally has a allow for driverless automobiles in San Francisco, however is utilizing it for self-driving supply companies fairly than passenger rides. It’s already making driverless deliveries in Mountain View, California.
Different driverless automotive companies are engaged on their very own know-how, together with Elon Musk’s digital automotive firm Tesla and Aurora Innovation, an organization based mostly in Pittsburgh.