Since yesterday, a video posted on Instagram has been causing laughter and concern on the web. In it, we see a police team approaching an autonomous vehicle from Cruise in San Francisco, who are at a loss as they realize there is no person behind the wheel. To make the situation worse, the autonomous car performs a rather suspicious action after being approached.
- A video released ten days ago shows the difficulty of police dealing with autonomous cars in San Francisco.
- Cruise's (GM) autonomous taxi service has been operating in the city since February, and the first reports of problems are beginning to emerge.
- Cruise explains controversial car action and reports actions to assist police and first aid departments in SF.
Silicon Valley is the birthplace of the most unusual projects in the field of robotics and automation, but this does not mean that everyone is prepared to deal with such great technology. Since February this year, the autonomous cab service from Cruise, an arm of the automaker GM in the US, has been offering rides to the public in San Francisco, and we have had the first reaction to the service in recent days.
As it can be seen in the video shared by Seth Weintraub, editor of 9to5mac, this weekend, the officer's approach to Cruise's autonomous car in the Richmond district was both comical and disturbing. On the one hand, the cops clearly don't know how to handle the situation; on the other, the car's action seems to indicate that the vehicle is on the run from the police.
However, according to a spokesperson for Cruise in response to the channel The Verge, the car was not trying to evade the police, on the contrary, it understood the action and sought to park in a nearby safe place. Furthermore, the company also explained that the cause of the police approach was the car's lights being out, and that the issue has since been resolved. The company also spoke out via Twitter in response to Weintraub:
Chiming in with more details: 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.
As it is also possible to see in the video - posted on Instagram on April 2 - the reaction of people experiencing the scene should also be highlighted here. We clearly notice laughter and questions about the approach: "How did this happen?" or "I have to see this!". Which further emphasizes the fact that we are not prepared to deal with this kind of situation.
After all, what would you do if you had to interact with this autonomous car from Cruise in the event of an accident?
In this regard, Cruise has stated that it is working together with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) to inform the police and first responders, as well as offering a support line for them to call in situations like this. On the company's YouTube channel, you can also find some videos teaching first responders how to approach their vehicles:
Funny or not, the fact is that services offered by autonomous vehicles in San Francisco have already started to show that the problem is no longer in the development of technology but in the safe interaction of people with such solutions. This may not even be a reality in cities like Berlin or Paris, but we are certainly not far from seeing Cruiser-like examples in other countries in the not too distant future.