Robotaxi Caught Malfunctioning at an Intersection

Robotaxi Caught Malfunctioning at an Intersection

Robotaxis are in disarray in California’s Bay Area. Just over a week after getting the OK to expand service by California state officials, a Cruise robotaxi drove itself into wet cement. Days after that incident, NBC Bay Area reports another Cruise car glitched out in the middle of an intersection.

The car in question was caught on video. In it, Brian Castagne — the man who recorded the video — said that the car was just sitting in an intersection for over a minute. An officer stepped in and approached it, talking to the car, or rather the operator monitoring it. “And we saw the traffic warden trying to communicate with the Cruise driverless car – he was knocking on the window, trying to talk to some speakers to little avail,” Castagne said.

Worse yet, Castagne said traffic on nearby streets were being affected by other Cruise robotaxis that were crawling through and holding it up. This mess is among many other problems robotaxis have been having recently. The problems have caught the attention of the California DMV. On August 18, the agency said that it was investigating what it called “recent concerning incidents” with Cruise robotaxis. Because of this, the DMV told Cruise the company needed to reduce the number of vehicles it had on the streets.

In a statement, the DMV said “Safety of the traveling public is the California DMV’s top priority. The primary focus of the DMV’s regulations is the safe operation of autonomous vehicles and safety of the public who share the road with these vehicles.” Cruise responded to the order.

“Cruise issued a statement Monday on the order, saying they believe their efforts positively impact overall road safety. The company also said it looks forward to working with the DMV to make any improvement and provide any data they need to reinforce the safety and efficiency on the fleet.”

Whether all of this is worth the headache is still an open question.

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