Last week, a GM-Cruise converted Chevy Bolt was being stopped by San Francisco police, which didn’t have any driver. Surprisingly the vehicle bolted to a safe spot and responded. These GM Cruise vehicles have been operating autonomously, giving rides to employees within the city. There are multiple stories about how things are going. This is one such interesting incident involving the police.
Recently, Google’s Waymo driverless vehicles joined Cruise in San Francisco. The CM Cruise has been successfully operating for months now. That is until a strange situation played out last weekend when one of the company’s vehicles left police seemingly confused by its response to a routine traffic stop.
— Seth Weintraub (@llsethj) April 10, 2022
The video you see above was first posted on April 2nd but only began to circulate widely after 9to5 publisher Seth Weintraub shared it on his personal Twitter account on Saturday. It shows San Francisco police attempting to pull over a driverless Cruise vehicle in the city’s Richmond District, only for the car to temporarily take off as a group of onlookers watch the scene in disbelief.
One day after Weintraub shared the video, Cruise commented on the clip, stating its vehicle yielded to police and moved to the nearest safe location for that traffic stop. “An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no citation was issued,” the company said. “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.”
It’s unclear why police stopped the vehicle, but it would appear the car didn’t have its front lights on. It’s safe to say we may see more episodes like the one that played out on April 2nd occur as autonomous vehicles become a more common sight on US roads. It should come as no surprise then Cruise produced a video designed to teach first responders how to approach its vehicles.
I think the bigger deal here is that they didn't even get to rough anyone up. Will someone please think of the police for once
— Franklin Tabor (@TaborFranklin) April 10, 2022
Cruise said on Sunday in response to the video, originally posted on April 2: “Our AV yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop, as intended. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no citation was issued. The General Motors subsidiary has been offering residents of San Francisco rides in a handful of its driverless cars during limited hours at night. Its aim is to establish itself as the leader in a fledgling market that could eventually be worth trillions of dollars. Alphabet’s Waymo also recently announced it would begin a soft launch of its Waymo One robotaxi service in the heart of Silicon Valley, offering free rides to its employees.