‘This Is Crazy:’ San Francisco Cops Pull over Completely Empty Self-Driving Car

Getty Images/MattGush

A San Francisco police officer recently pulled over a car for failing to have its headlights on, but when the officer approached the vehicle he realized the car was not only a self-driving with no one in the driver’s seat — the vehicle was completely empty. The puzzled policeman can heard to say “Ain’t nobody in it; this is crazy,” in a viral video of the incident.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a San Francsico Police traffic officer was shocked recently when he pulled over a vehicle for failing to have its headlights on, only to find it was entirely empty. “Ain’t nobody in it; this is crazy,” a confused SFPD officer can be heard saying on a video recorded by a bystander.

The vehicle was a self-driving Chevy Bolt from self-driving vehicle company Cruise and was stopped by the officer for failing to have its headlights on. The car halted for the police but then drove off, crossing an intersection before stopping in front of a Chinese restaurant. Cruise later explained the vehicle was going “to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop as intended.”

The officer and two of his colleagues immediately surrounded the vehicle looking in the windows, and shining their flashlights inside. The SFPD then reportedly contacted Cruise which took remote control of the vehicle and no citation was issued.

Experts say that the incident shows that autonomous cars are still not capable of figuring out human-robot interactions. Situations like this are likely to become more common as companies like General Motors spinoff Cruise, Google’s Waymo, and more begin operating self-driving vehicles on California public roads.

The companies are testing robo-taxi rides for employees and some members of the public. Bryant Walker Smith, who teaches law at the University of South Carolina and is an affiliate scholar at Stanford’s Center for Internet and Society, commented that self-driving car companies “are trying to navigate regimes full of uncertainty and imperfection in the little dances between law enforcement officer and a vehicle.”

He added: “As futuristic as we think we are, we have to engage in the structures of the present and even the anachronisms of the past.”

Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com


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