Cruise Robotaxi Collides With San Francisco Firetruck
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A Cruise robotaxi collided with a firetruck late Aug. 17 in San Francisco, injuring the vehicle’s passenger.
The autonomous driving company, a subsidiary of General Motors Co., reported the crash in a series of social media posts Aug. 18.
“One of our cars entered the intersection on a green light and was struck by an emergency vehicle that appeared to be en route to an emergency scene,” the company posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The accident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco, Cruise said.
“Our car contained one passenger who was treated on scene and transported via ambulance for what we believe are non-severe injuries,” the company said.
Our car contained one passenger who was treated on scene and transported via ambulance for what we believe are non-severe injuries. (3/5) — cruise (@Cruise) August 18, 2023
The collision occurred while the firetruck was operating in a “Code 3” emergency mode, said the San Francisco Police Department. That means the fire truck’s lights, including a forward-facing steady red light and siren, were activated.
The incident raises questions about why the vehicle did not know to stop for an emergency vehicle, and why it did not notice through traffic while crossing an intersection.
A video by San Francisco’s local ABC network showed the vehicle as a firetruck. The San Francisco Fire Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Aug. 18.
Last week, California’s Public Utilities Commission voted 3-1 to allow Cruise and Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo to increase the areas of the city where they can operate autonomous vehicles without a safety driver, and charge riders a fare for it.
On Aug. 16, San Francisco asked CPUC to suspend that permission until the commission decides on a pending request for a rehearing, arguing the city “will suffer serious harm” as Waymo and Cruise extend service.
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