A video lately posted on-line reveals what occurs when police attempt to apprehend an autonomous automobile – solely to seek out no person inside.
Police in San Francisco stopped a automobile operated by Cruise, an autonomous automobile firm backed by Basic Motors, in a video posted on 1 April. Officers approached the automobile, which had been driving with out headlights, solely to seek out it was empty.
“Ain’t no person in it – that is loopy,” a bystander may 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 longer term,” 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 mentioned 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 have been in a position to tackle their issues.
“Our AV yielded to the police automobile, then pulled over to the closest protected location, as meant. 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 automobile “didn’t have its headlights on due to a human error, which was the rationale the SFPD approached it, and we have now mounted the problem that led to this”. She added that the corporate supplied a cellphone quantity for police to name with questions any time a automobile is pulled over. The SFPD didn’t instantly reply to request for remark in regards to 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 automobile firm, introduced it could deploy driverless automobiles in San Francisco. Waymo has been engaged on autonomous driving know-how for greater than a decade and working absolutely driverless rides in Arizona for greater than a 12 months.
However driverless automobile glitches have made headlines previously, together with a Waymo automobile that turned caught at an intersection and required rescue.
Waymo mentioned in March it could 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 automobile firm, additionally has a allow for driverless automobiles in San Francisco, however is utilizing it for self-driving supply providers fairly 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.