A video just lately posted on-line reveals what occurs when police attempt to apprehend an autonomous car – solely to search out no one inside.
Police in San Francisco stopped a car operated by Cruise, an autonomous automobile firm backed by Common Motors, in a video posted on 1 April. Officers approached the automobile, which had been driving with out headlights, solely to search out it was empty.
“Ain’t no one in it – that is loopy,” a bystander will be heard saying within the video. The automobile then speeds away to the opposite facet of the intersection, leaving the police behind.
The video, which has since circulated extensively on social media, prompted inevitable jokes. “Welcome to the long run,” quipped one Twitter consumer.
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 autos with a backup driver within the entrance seat since 2015, but it surely began permitting customers to hail driverless vehicles in San Francisco in November 2021.
The corporate mentioned in a tweet that the car had behaved as anticipated by transferring to a safer location on the opposite facet of the intersection the place police have been in a position to handle their considerations.
“Our AV yielded to the police car, then pulled over to the closest secure location, as supposed. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no quotation was issued,” Cruise mentioned on its company Twitter account.
A Cruise spokeswoman, Tiffany Testo, advised the Guardian that the car “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 provided a cellphone quantity for police to name with questions any time a car is pulled over. The SFPD didn’t instantly reply to request for remark concerning the incident or about its insurance policies for driverless autos.
The viral video underscores the bumps within the highway as corporations race to place absolutely autonomous autos on streets.
The Cruise video comes simply weeks after Waymo, one other autonomous automobile firm, introduced it could deploy driverless autos 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 automobile glitches have made headlines prior to now, together with a Waymo car that grew to become caught at an intersection and required rescue.
Waymo mentioned in March it could enable 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 automobile firm, additionally has a allow for driverless autos in San Francisco, however is utilizing it for self-driving supply providers quite than passenger rides. It’s already making driverless deliveries in Mountain View, California.
Different driverless automobile companies are engaged on their very own know-how, together with Elon Musk’s digital automobile firm Tesla and Aurora Innovation, an organization based mostly in Pittsburgh.