A video just lately posted on-line reveals what occurs when police attempt to apprehend an autonomous automobile – solely to seek out no one inside.
Police in San Francisco stopped a automobile operated by Cruise, an autonomous automobile firm backed by Normal Motors, in a video posted on 1 April. Officers approached the automobile, which had been driving with out headlights, solely to seek out it was empty.
“Ain’t no one in it – that is loopy,” a bystander may be heard saying within the video. The automobile then speeds away to the opposite aspect of the intersection, leaving the police behind.
The video, which has since circulated broadly on social media, prompted inevitable jokes. “Welcome to the long run,” quipped one Twitter consumer.
Cruise is working to deploy its autonomous driving expertise for ride-hailing functions, transporting riders across the metropolis with no driver. It has been testing its automobiles with a backup driver within the entrance seat since 2015, nevertheless it began permitting customers to hail driverless vehicles in San Francisco in November 2021.
The corporate mentioned in a tweet that the automobile had behaved as anticipated by shifting to a safer location on the opposite aspect of the intersection the place police had been capable of tackle their issues.
“Our AV yielded to the police automobile, then pulled over to the closest secure location, as meant. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no quotation was issued,” Cruise mentioned on its company Twitter account.
A Cruise spokeswoman, Tiffany Testo, advised the Guardian that the automobile “didn’t have its headlights on due to a human error, which was the rationale the SFPD approached it, and we’ve mounted the difficulty that led to this”. She added that the corporate provided a cellphone quantity for police to name with questions any time a automobile is pulled over. The SFPD didn’t instantly reply to request for remark in regards to the incident or about its insurance policies for driverless automobiles.
The viral video underscores the bumps within the street as firms race to place absolutely autonomous automobiles on streets.
The Cruise video comes simply weeks after Waymo, one other autonomous automobile firm, introduced it will deploy driverless automobiles in San Francisco. Waymo has been engaged on autonomous driving expertise for greater than a decade and working absolutely driverless rides in Arizona for greater than a yr.
However driverless automobile glitches have made headlines previously, together with a Waymo automobile that turned caught at an intersection and required rescue.
Waymo mentioned in March it will permit passengers in its driverless vehicles on a trial foundation. To partake, riders should apply for a waitlist and signal non-disclosure agreements to get early entry.
Nuro, one other autonomous automobile firm, additionally has a allow for driverless automobiles in San Francisco, however is utilizing it for self-driving supply providers somewhat than passenger rides. It’s already making driverless deliveries in Mountain View, California.
Different driverless automobile corporations are engaged on their very own expertise, together with Elon Musk’s digital automobile firm Tesla and Aurora Innovation, an organization primarily based in Pittsburgh.