‘This Technology Is Not Yet Ready:’ San Francisco Robotaxi Drives Get Stuck in Wet Concrete

A self-driving car operated by Cruise rides on 11th Street in San Francisco, Calif. on Fri
Paul Chinn/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images

A driverless Cruise robotaxi drove into wet concrete on a construction site in San Francisco and got stuck, highlighting the problems with self-driving vehicles. One attorney for the city said, “We have seen that this technology is not yet ready, and poor AV performance has interfered with the life-saving operations of first responders.”

Business Insider reports that a driverless Cruise robotaxi, with no passengers on board, got stuck in wet concrete at a construction site on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco. The incident occurred just days after California officials approved major expansions to robotaxi services in the city.

Cruise Robotaxi

Cruise Robotaxi (Cruise)

The construction site had been marked off with cones, and workers were present with flags at each end of the block. Local resident Paul Harvey, who captured photos of the vehicle’s front wheels sunk into the concrete, commented on the incident. “It thinks it’s a road and it ain’t because it ain’t got a brain and it can’t tell that it’s freshly poured concrete,” Harvey said.

Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, stated that Cruise would have to pay for the affected portion of the road to be repaved. A Cruise spokesperson confirmed that staff removed the vehicle from the concrete.

As Breitbart News previously reported, a Waymo autonomous taxi caused chaos navigating a fire scene in San Francisco, exposing the challenges driverless vehicles face in reacting to unusual situations and commands from first responders. Police officers had to desperately work to stop the driverless vehicle from running over a hose being used by firefighters to put out a fire.

Recently, a group of about ten self-driving taxis became stuck in the San Francisco neighborhood of North Beach, causing a traffic jam just one day after regulators voted to allow driverless taxi companies virtual free rein in the city.

City Attorney David Chiu filed an administrative motion asking the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to halt its approval of Cruise and Waymo’s commercial expansion in San Francisco while the city seeks a rehearing of the decision. Chiu’s office stated that a rise in commercial autonomous vehicles (AVs) in San Francisco would “inevitably lead to an increase in traffic congestion and the number of dangerous incidents.”

“We have seen that this technology is not yet ready, and poor AV performance has interfered with the life-saving operations of first responders,” Chiu said in a statement. “San Francisco will suffer serious harms from this unfettered expansion, which outweigh whatever impacts AV companies may experience from a minimal pause in commercial deployment.”

Read more at Business Insider here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.