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Cruise Autonomous Cab Stops in San Francisco Once Again

In July, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened an investigation about Cruise, GM’s autonomous vehicle company. With autonomous cabs operating in San Francisco, the company already faced some issues, with several of its robotaxis stopping in the middle of the road. Cruise said it had fixed the glitch that caused the autonomous cabs to stop, but it happened again on September 23.
A Cruise robotaxi like this one now blocked the Sacramento Street in San Francisco 17 photos
GM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaGM’s Cruise is the first to offer self-driving service to paying customers in CaliforniaMore than five Cruise robotaxis block Gough Street in San FranciscoMore than five Cruise robotaxis block Gough Street in San FranciscoMore than five Cruise robotaxis block Gough Street in San Francisco
According to tweets from Dan Thorn and Ella Sogomonian, the Cruise AV blocked Sacramento Street right after Mason Street. Thorn was driving Sogomonian home after work at KRON4 News when they saw the robotaxi. In his tweet, we can see Sogomonian in his car. In her tweet, Thorn appears between the vehicles, probably calling Cruise.

According to Sogomonian, the Cruise autonomous cab ended up forcing a Line 1 bus to reroute because the robotaxi blocked the road. It took 20 minutes for a Cruise technician to show up and remove the vehicle from where it stopped working.

As Philip Koopman said about previous episodes in which Cruise AVs blocked San Francisco streets, “this is yet another symptom that they have removed a backup driver from their vehicles too early.” If the robotaxi had a backup driver inside it, the glitch would have been solved in seconds instead of 20 minutes.

A person that identified solely as anoncruiseemployee on a Reddit thread said that the company presents a “highly chaotic environment where safety-related discussion is routinely discouraged.” This person also expressed concerns that the stranded Cruise robotaxis may eventually block “emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.” These vehicles suddenly stopping may also lead to crashes: Cruise even writes a warning between the taillights that the autonomous cab “may stop quickly.”

So far, NHTSA has not revealed the results of its investigation about Cruise. There is also no information from local authorities if the company will have to employ backup drivers or if it may keep blocking San Francisco streets every once in a while.






 
 
 
 
 

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