The California Public Utilities Commission said in a statement on Tuesday that it was aware of occurrences with autonomous Cruise cars obstructing traffic in San Francisco the previous week.
According to a CPUC representative, “We are working with the [autonomous vehicle] businesses to identify their frequency, location, and the circumstances under which they occur.” In general, the CPUC has the power to suspend or revoke an AV company’s operating permission if it breaches the terms of its permit.
12:50 pm on September 26 The latest in a run of problems involving the locally based self-driving car business involved at least three autonomous Cruise vehicles that purportedly blocked a bus lane and slowed down traffic in San Francisco last week.
Two of Cruise’s cars were seen in a video posted on Reddit Thursday evening, stopped in the area of Sacramento and Leavenworth streets with their hazard lights flashing. A block behind them, it seemed as though a Muni bus had stopped.
In the backdrop of the footage, one individual could be heard screaming, “Come on, we’ve got to get the f—k going.”
There isn’t a driver!
Another replied, “
At around 10:19 p.m. that same evening, another Cruise vehicle disrupted traffic similarly near the intersection of Geary Boulevard and Franklin Street. According to reports, the driver had little choice but to reroute and navigate around the autonomous vehicle after it apparently crossed into a bus lane and halted just inches from a Muni bus. At Sacramento and Mason streets, another Cruise vehicle reportedly stopped in the middle of the roadway with its lights flashing and music blasting from the radio.
A crew from the tech business, which is located in San Francisco, was sent to collect each vehicle and arrived within 20 minutes of the disturbances, according to Drew Pusateri, a spokeswoman for Cruise, who claimed that the cars stopped due to “a technical issue.”
Pusateri stated in a statement that “safety is the guiding foundation of all we do.” That means that if one of our cars runs into a scenario where it is not safe for it to continue, it will stop, turn on its hazard lights, and we will either get it moving again or pick it up as soon as we can. This can be as a result of a technical difficulty, a road situation, or a mechanical issue like a flat tire. We regret if this occurs frequently and are striving to reduce it.
The discovery comes after roughly 20 of Cruise’s autonomous cars in San Francisco in July halted traffic for two hours at the intersection of Gough and Fulton streets. One Cruise vehicle was also the focus of a popular video in April after police stopped it for driving without headlights and then fled from them.
In response to a request for comment about the occurrences, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency stated that it lacked regulatory authority for Cruise cars and directed to the California Public Utilities Commission for further information. The CPUC has not responded as of the time of publishing.
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