On Tuesday night, following rainstorms that downed trees in San Francisco, some of General Motors’ self-driving vehicle unit Cruise’s cars stalled out on city streets. The company acknowledged the incident and promised to investigate the cause of the malfunction.
One witness to the Cruise robotaxi failures, John-Phillip Bettencourt, shared photos of the stalled vehicles on Twitter. According to Bettencourt, two self-driving Cruise vehicles became tangled in caution tape and bus wires, and did not appear to detect and avoid the obstacles properly.
Cruise has been testing its self-driving vehicles in San Francisco for more than two years, but it recently filed an application with the California Department of Motor Vehicles to expand testing statewide. The company hopes to eventually offer its services to customers across the state.
However, Cruise is not the only company authorized to conduct autonomous vehicle testing in California without a human driver in the car. Amazon-owned Zoox and Chinese startup WeRide are also authorized to conduct testing, according to the DMV website.
Despite the setback, Cruise remains optimistic about the future of its self-driving vehicles. The company has been working on developing the technology for several years, and it believes that it has made significant progress. Cruise has also partnered with major companies, such as Walmart, to test its self-driving delivery vehicles.
the incident in San Francisco underscores the challenges that self-driving cars face when operating in real-world environments. While the technology is promising, it is still in its early stages, and there is much work to be done before self-driving vehicles can become a mainstream mode of transportation.