around midnight On June 28, Calvin Hu and his girlfriend were driving near Golden Gate Park in San Francisco when they stopped at an intersection behind two white and orange automatic Chevrolet Bolts operated by General Motors subsidiary Cruise. Another person stopped on the right side of the adjacent lane. The light turned green, but the car driving around town without a driver didn’t move.
He said that as Hu was preparing to back up to make room around the frozen vehicle, he noticed several more Cruise vehicles parked in the driveway behind him. Hu, another driver and a paratransit bus were trapped in a self-driving taxi sandwich.
After a few minutes of bewildered waiting, Hu said, he had to drive across the curb in the middle of the street to escape. When he walked back a few minutes later to see if the situation had been resolved, the Cruise vehicle was not moving. A man who appeared to work for the company stopped at the intersection, as if to signal that the street was closed, and tried to divert traffic away from the stationary self-driving car, Hu said. Hu estimated that the previously unreported blockade of robot cars lasted at least 15 minutes.
The Cruise vehicle that trapped Hu wasn’t the only self-driving car blocking traffic in San Francisco that night. Internal messages seen by WIRED show that within 90 minutes, nearly 60 cars across the city were disabled after losing contact with Cruise servers. As many as 20 cars, some of them parked on the crosswalk, caused congestion in the city center, an incident first reported by the city. San Francisco Examiner And detailed in a photo posted to Reddit. The California Department of Motor Vehicles, which oversees autonomous vehicle operations in the state, said in a written statement that it was aware of the incident and would meet with Cruise to “gather more information.”
The June 28 outage wasn’t Cruise’s first. The company lost contact with the entire fleet for 20 minutes on the night of May 18 because its cars were parked on the street, according to internal documents seen by Wired. Company staff can’t see where the vehicle is and can’t communicate with passengers in the vehicle. Worst of all, the company lost access to its backup system, which allows remote operators to safely guide stopped vehicles to the curb.
A letter that Cruise employees sent anonymously to the California Public Utilities Commission that month, reviewed by WIRED, said the company “often” loses contact with driverless vehicles, blocking traffic and potentially hindering emergency vehicles. The vehicles were sometimes only recovered by trailers, the letter said.Pictures and videos posted on social media possible and June The cruising vehicles appear to be inexplicably parked in San Francisco’s traffic lanes as the city’s human pedestrians and motorists pass around them.
Cruise spokeswoman Tiffany Testo provided a written statement saying the company’s vehicles are programmed to pull over and turn on hazard lights if they experience a technical problem or encounter unmanageable road conditions. “We are working to minimize the frequency of this situation, but it is and will continue to be an aspect of our overall safety operations,” the statement said. Testo did not respond to multiple incidents of Cruise vehicles parked in traffic. Specific issues.
The outage comes at a critical time for Cruise, which is accelerating its self-driving car program on the tricky streets of San Francisco as it competes with well-capitalized rivals like Google sister company Waymo, Aurora and Amazon-owned Zoox. This spring, GM bought SoftBank’s Vision Fund’s $2.1 billion stake in Cruise and invested another $1.35 billion in the self-driving unit. Just two weeks after a power outage in May took Cruise’s entire fleet out of service, the CPUC approved Cruise’s license to charge for an Uber-like ride-hailing service — opening the way for a full-scale commercial robo-taxi service that could help Companies are starting to recoup billions of dollars. It has poured into building its technology.
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