Two of GM's Cruise driverless taxis made their way into a San Francisco neighbourhood where there were some downed trees and dangling wires after a storm. Normally, this wouldn’t be an issue, but the cars got stuck and needed human assistance to get out.
The pair of robotaxis was spotted by Twitter user John-Philip, who said that the autonomous Chevy Bolts didn’t detect the caution tape blocking a street and got tangled in both the tape and some downed wires, adding that the cars looked like flies in sticky traps.
The company responded quickly after the incident, saying that some of the cars “were able to proceed autonomously,” but others needed assistance from humans to get them out of the restricted areas.
After the severe storm that hit the San Francisco area a couple of days ago, a bunch of stuck driverless cars is the last thing on the minds of the people working to get things back into order.
This isn’t the first time Cruise’s robotaxis wound up in tricky situations, only to be saved by human operators. At the end of 2022, one of GM’s autonomous taxis got stuck at an intersection and put its emergency lights on, even though the traffic light was green.
Another incident saw a self-driving Bolt from Cruise colliding with a Toyota Prius, with people in both cars sustaining injuries as a result of the crash. In another case, the San Francisco Police Department pulled over a robotaxi because it didn’t have its lights on and it was dark outside, but there was nobody inside the car, which left the officers a little perplexed.
After these incidents (and more), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) officially opened a probe into Cruise’s robotaxi system, with the government agency saying in December 2022 that it received reports of the self-driving vehicles that "may engage in inappropriately hard braking or become immobilised." The NHTSA is yet to conclude this case.
GM’s Cruise was launched in San Francisco in June of 2022 and the company’s vehicles have reportedly covered over 700,000 miles without the help of a human driver. With this being said, the robotaxi unit has lost nearly $5 billion since 2018, but GM’s CEO, Mary Barra, went on record saying that the business could generate $50 billion a year in revenue from automated vehicle services and technology by 2030.
Source: @PopRag (Twitter)