One of them is the supposed reason for the traffic stop, namely that the Cruise vehicle did not have the lights turned on, even though it was night. The Cruise driverless service is only available between 11 pm and 5 am because traffic is lighter, so the pilot program runs fewer risks. The same risks are higher if one such vehicle is traveling without lights.
The video of the police stop is available below. You can see how one of the officers approaches the vehicle and looks around, apparently confused that there’s no one behind the wheel and no way to contact anyone from the company. When he heads back to his patrol car, the Cruise bolts – or so it seems. It moves slowly across a junction and then pulls over again with the hazard lights on. For another two minutes or so, the officers try to figure out what to do about the vehicle, including how they could turn on the headlights, much to the amusement of the crowd.
Because the vehicle moved after the initial stop, many assumed it was trying to make a run for it. To be sure, cases of fleeing AVs (autonomous vehicles) have made headlines before, though never from the cops. In a statement on Twitter, Cruise says the vehicle performed as it should have, yielding to the police and then “pulling over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop.”
Cruise also says that no citation was issued and that they’re working with the police to prevent further incidents like this. “We work closely with the SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this,” the company says.
We work closely with the SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this.— cruise (@Cruise) April 10, 2022