A robotic automobile of the Common Motors subsidiary Cruise is on a check drive.
Andrej Sokolow | image alliance | Getty Pictures
Automotive and tech executives lengthy promised autonomous automobiles would drive higher than people, however that wasn’t the case for a fleet of Cruise vehicles in San Francisco this week.
The corporate, a majority-owned subsidiary of General Motors, confirmed it had an “situation earlier this week that brought on a few of our automobiles to cluster collectively.” An organization spokesman mentioned the issue was “resolved and no passengers have been impacted,” however declined to present additional particulars.
Pictures and an outline of the Cruise robotaxis blocking a number of lanes of visitors in San Francisco have been shared on Reddit and Twitter. At the very least seven Cruise automobiles could be seen clustering within the intersection of Gough and Fulton streets within the metropolis’s Civic Heart neighborhood late Tuesday night time, doubtlessly blocking visitors in each methods on one of many streets.
It is unclear how lengthy the vehicles have been blocking the roads or what brought on the state of affairs with the automobiles, which function with no people in them apart from paying clients.
The incident is one other instance of how troublesome it’s to develop and deploy self-driving car fleets. Commercializing autonomous automobiles has been far more difficult than many predicted even a number of years in the past. The challenges have led to a consolidation within the autonomous car sector after years of enthusiasm touting the know-how as the subsequent multitrillion-dollar market for transportation firms.
The San Francisco Division of Emergency Administration was notified and contacted Cruise about the issue, San Francisco Police Division Public Info Officer Kathryn Winters instructed CNBC. She mentioned no officers have been dispatched to the scene.
The incident occurred roughly every week after Cruise grew to become the primary firm to supply unmanned fared rides to the general public in a serious metropolis. The automobiles function between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. on designated streets.
Alphabet-backed Waymo has reportedly had comparable issues involving clustering of its autonomous automobiles in San Francisco. KPIX-TV, a CBS affiliate in San Francisco, reported in October that Waymo automobiles have been getting caught at a dead-end road within the metropolis.
Cruise’s drawback additionally comes months after a web-based video of a Cruise autonomous vehicle getting pulled over by police with out anybody behind the wheel. Within the video posted on April 1, the Cruise automobile initially pulls over to the facet of the highway and stops as a cop approached the motive force’s facet earlier than accelerating to cross an intersection and pull off additional down the highway.