The San Francisco Police Department is currently investigating an incident that occurred on October 2nd, involving a pedestrian who was struck by both a human-driven vehicle and a Cruise robotaxi. Video footage captured by Cruise and viewed by TechCrunch shows the robotaxi attempting to minimize impact by braking aggressively. However, the pedestrian was ultimately run over and became trapped beneath the vehicle.
According to the video, the incident unfolded when a human-driven vehicle in the left lane accelerated through an intersection, hitting the pedestrian who had entered the street from the far left side. After being struck, the pedestrian was launched onto the roof of the human-driven vehicle before falling onto the road, eventually landing in the lane where the robotaxi was present.
The driver of the human-driven vehicle fled the scene, leaving the pedestrian injured and trapped under the robotaxi. The police arrived at the scene and provided aid to the pedestrian, who was then transported to the hospital. The current condition of the pedestrian is unknown.
Cruise has released a statement on the incident, clarifying that the initial impact was caused by the human-driven vehicle and not their autonomous vehicle. They expressed their concern for the injured pedestrian and stated that they are cooperating with the police investigation to identify the responsible driver.
This incident adds to the series of crashes and other operational issues faced by Cruise in San Francisco. The investigation will determine if the autonomous vehicle could have avoided the pedestrian altogether. However, public opinion regarding robotaxis remains divided in the city.
The incident comes at a crucial time for Cruise, as they are working towards expanding their robotaxi operations in San Francisco and planning to test and charge for rides in multiple U.S. cities. In August, Cruise and Waymo received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission to expand their commercial operations. Despite these developments, Cruise faced additional scrutiny from the California Department of Motor Vehicles following a crash with an emergency response vehicle, leading to a request to reduce their fleet size for further investigation.
– San Francisco Police Department