Did an autonomous vehicle try to flee from the police after being stopped? The incident took place on the streets of San Francisco where autonomous vehicles have been circulating for months in test mode.
This article was translated from our Spanish edition.
A couple of months ago, Cruise , the autonomous vehicle division of General Motors, began offering driverless taxi services in the city of San Francisco to test and refine its technology. The company is working hard to be the first to offer rides in sensor-laden cars that promise to revolutionize the way we get around, making streets and highways safer.
But not everyone seems ready to say goodbye to drivers. Over the weekend, a video of a traffic officer attempting to question the driver of an autonomous vehicle circulated on social media. After ordering the vehicle to stop, the officer approaches the vehicle's window and, stunned, looks inside. Then he tries to open the door and failing to do so, he returns to his patrol. At that moment the Cruise starts again to cross a street and stop with the flashing lights on. The policeman and his partner approach the car again, surround it and appear confused by the situation.
According to The Verge , Aaron McLear , a Cruise spokesman, stated after the incident that the car was not trying to run away but to find a safer place to park. The car was stopped for not having the lights on, an issue that has already been corrected by the company. McLear explained that the company works closely with the city police and that there is a hotline to report incidents like this.
Cruise is not the only company working and testing its autonomous vehicles in real environments. In the race to be the first to offer the service are also Tesla with Autopilot and Google with Waymo (which also carries out tests in the city of San Francisco).It is estimated that 94% of car accidents are caused by human error. The introduction of autonomous systems promises to dramatically reduce deaths and injuries caused by traffic incidents.