A controversial driverless car company has been blasted after about 10 of its self-driving vehicles broke down and blocked a street in San Francisco.
Just a day after getting the go-ahead to flood the streets of the crime-ridden city with even more of his Chevy Bolts, ten of Cruise’s cars suffered WiFi blackouts that brought a street in the North Beach neighborhood to a standstill.
The company thinks a nearby music festival may have overloaded telecommunications networks.
A woman who filmed the drama could be heard claiming that 10 of the hatchbacks had stopped.
Six were visible in images she shared online, blocking the intersection of Grant Avenue and Vallejo Street, KRON reported.
Controversial driverless car company comes under fire after 10 of its vehicles malfunctioned and blocked off a San Francisco street, reportedly because their ‘Wi-Fi failed’
A day after getting the green light to boost the presence of driverless vehicles in San Francisco, self-driving car company Cruise encountered a setback that brought traffic to a standstill in the city.
Footage captured by onlookers reveals a scene where a fleet of at least six cruiser cars can be seen obstructing traffic Friday night in the North Beach area. An eyewitness at the scene reported up to ten stationary cruise cars blocking the road
A spokesperson for Cruise attributed the unexpected shutdown to “wireless connectivity issues” resulting from the start of Outside Lands, a three-day music festival.
They didn’t elaborate further, though big events are known to cause network connection issues as telecom companies buckle under the weight of a sudden surge in local usage.
“We are actively investigating and working on solutions to prevent this from happening again and we apologize to those affected,” Cruise said.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed took to Twitter to share his thoughts on self-driving vehicles in the city ahead of the setback.
“Autonomous vehicles are a key part of the future of transportation, not just in San Francisco but around the world,” she wrote in the tweet.
Adding, “As a city at the forefront of innovation, we are committed to integrating AVs and improving how they can operate safely and effectively in our city.”
A cruise vehicle in San Francisco, California, U.S., Wednesday, February 2, 2022
While she remains committed to their integration, she recognized that some challenges, such as interference with first responders, need to be addressed.
District 3 Supervisor Aaron Peskin expressed his reaction to the incident, raising concerns about the California Public Utilities Commission’s decision to expand the presence of driverless vehicles.
“Why do the State Commissioners think it is okay to put people at risk + create traffic chaos on the streets in our neighborhoods? We warned them + they refused to listen,’ Peskin tweeted.
The San Francisco Fire Department also expressed strong disagreement with the expansion, pointing to the potential dangers and disruption from vehicles on local streets.
“The Fire Department strongly disagrees with yesterday’s decision by the CPUC to allow commercial operations of autonomous vehicle companies in San Francisco,” Capt. Jonathan Baxter said in a statement.
“We believe the decision ignores the public safety and emergency response that we presented to the Commission this week,” he added.
Cruise, which is a driverless robot taxi, is seen in operation in San Francisco, California, United States, July 24, 2023.
“The decision allows for industry expansion without addressing any of the underlying issues. We don’t think the industry has any incentive to stay at the table and solve their problems.
He claimed that dangerous incidents will not stop or go away – but they are in fact increasing.
The fire department announced its continued support and cooperation with city and industry partners, “if they remain willing to improve street and community safety by improving the robotaxis’ ability to drive safely. security”.
The department has made it clear that while it is not introducing new technologies to the city, it will always prioritize the safety of its citizens.
“The San Francisco Fire Department is not against modernization and new technology, but any vehicle that endangers city residents and visitors and puts its passengers between a fire truck and a fire is not is not ready for prime time,” the statement concluded.
The incident underscores the ongoing debate around the safe integration of autonomous vehicles into urban environments, prompting local authorities and organizations to reassess the implications of their increased production and use.
In June, self-driving car company Cruise again came under scrutiny for a problem caused by its self-driving vehicles.
Cruise came under fire after one of his vehicles appeared to get in the way of first responders in San Francisco’s Mission district on Friday night.
Self-driving vehicles came to an unexpected stop in the middle of the road, obstructing the passage of other vehicles, in the video that was sent to KRON4
Video showed a self-driving car stopping in the middle of the road near 24th and Folsom streets, blocking the road leading to the scene of a nearby mass shooting.
The shooting in the city’s Mission district on Friday night left nine injured in an attack law enforcement officials described as ‘targeted’ in what is the latest deplorable incident in the plague-stricken city. crime.
In early August, a reporter said a ride in a driverless car named “Peaches” turned into a dystopian nightmare after the vehicle picked up speed and refused to let him out.
Associated Press tech reporter Michael Liedtke was picked up by the driverless Chevrolet Bolt, called Peaches, outside a San Francisco bar last September.
Liedtke said the half-hour trip, operated by the Cruise company, was going smoothly until a “twist” made him worry the experience was something he would regret.
In a report, Liedtke said that as it neared its destination, Peaches began to accelerate and pull away in the opposite direction.
After frantically calling Cruise’s help desk, they informed him that Peaches had become confused and after the car drove him back to his destination, he did the same.
San Francisco police responded to a shooting in the Mission District on Friday where nine people were shot in what authorities believe was a targeted shootout
Associated Press tech reporter Michael Liedtke is pictured here inside Peaches last September
The empty driver’s seat is shown in a driverless Chevy Bolt car named Peaches carrying Associated Press reporter Michael Liedtke
As of this week, the California Public Utilities Commission said robotaxis can operate in San Francisco 24/7, including self-driving car companies Waymo and Cruise.
Waymo operates a fleet of electric Jaguar electric vehicles that are also commonplace on the streets of the tech capital.
Previously, self-driving vehicles were only allowed to drive around the city at night, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., without a security permit.
Earlier this week, an NBC report revealed that makers of driverless cars are looking to expand in San Francisco despite concerns the tech lacks safety guardrails
San Francisco is the “fiercer battleground in the debate over autonomous vehicles and their ability to coexist safely on the streets,” the article writes.
Across the state of California, at least 41 companies currently operate more than 2,000 autonomous vehicles in California.
And although most have test drivers inside, able to replace cars when needed, hundreds of vehicles on the road currently have no one behind the wheel.
Some are calling the companies and claiming it’s time to rein in emerging technology.