San Francisco cops left baffled after pulling over driverless Cruise taxi which then took off on them. (Credits: Mario Herger / YouTube)
Cops in San Francisco were baffled when they tried to pull over a car and found no one in the drivers’ seat.
An Instagram video from last weekend shows police officers pulling over an autonomous vehicle belonging to Cruise, a self-driving taxi service.
The video then shows the officers walking around the driverless vehicle, trying to open its doors with no luck.
When the police try to stop it, the Chevy Bolt takes off seemingly for a quick getaway but parks a few meters away after the next intersection with its hazard lights on.
The police officers pull up behind the driverless taxi and presumably try to figure out how to turn its headlights back on.
A spokesperson for Cruise confirmed that the SFPD pulled over the vehicle for not having its headlights on and that the issue had since been fixed.
‘We work closely with the SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this,’ the company said.
According to Cruise, the car behaved as expected. In a tweet, the company clarified that the car was not fleeing the police but ‘pulling over to the nearest safer location for the traffic stop’.
While a human driver could get into trouble with the cops for doing something like that, it’s hard to penalise a car with no driver.
Cruise said that it was working closely with the San Francisco Police Department on how to interact with its vehicles in situations like this.
‘Chiming in with more details,’ the company added on Twitter. ‘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 personnell and no citation was issued.’
In February, Cruise, owned by General Motors was authorised to collect fares from passengers and offer shared rides.
This was after GM and Google petitioned US regulators for permission to deploy a limited number of self-driving vehicles without human controls like steering wheels or brake pedals.
The driverless car was owned by taxi company Cruise (Credits: Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Earlier, Cruise and Google’s Waymo had been permitted to provide passenger service only on a testing basis with no fare collection permitted.
Cruise is allowed to provide the ‘Drivered Deployment’ service on some public roads in San Francisco between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.
While this encounter serves as a starting point for how law enforcement should deal with these driverless cars.