A Cruise robotaxi was involved in a serious accident on Monday night in San Francisco, resulting in a pedestrian being critically injured. The incident occurred after the pedestrian was struck by another human-driven vehicle and thrown in front of the self-driving car. Witnesses and investigators reported that the driverless taxi stopped on top of the woman as she screamed in pain.
According to footage shown by Cruise to the San Francisco Chronicle, the pedestrian was walking through the intersection when both the robotaxi and the other vehicle received a green light to enter. Cruise stated that the woman was in the crosswalk, although it has not been confirmed by the San Francisco Police Department.
Cruise explained that the initial impact from the human-driven vehicle caused the pedestrian to land in front of the self-driving car. The robotaxi then braked aggressively to minimize further impact. The driver of the other vehicle left the scene, and at the request of the police, the robotaxi remained in place. Cruise expressed concern for the injured person’s well-being and is cooperating with the police in identifying the responsible driver.
Witnesses reported seeing the other car cause the woman to fall before the robotaxi struck her. Another witness heard her screaming while trapped underneath the Cruise car. San Francisco firefighters arrived and used the jaws of life to free the woman. She was then taken to San Francisco General Hospital with multiple traumatic injuries.
The Cruise car sensed an obstruction under its rear axle and promptly stopped, activating its hazard lights. Firefighters obstructed the car’s sensors to alert the Cruise control center, and Cruise representatives immediately disabled the vehicle remotely.
Cruise has faced several incidents in recent months, including a collision with a San Francisco fire truck in August. Following the August incident, the California DMV requested Cruise to reduce its fleet size to 50 vehicles during the day and 150 during the night. The repercussions of this latest incident, the most serious to date, on GM’s self-driving car unit remain uncertain.
Sources: San Francisco Chronicle, FiscoLive415