In a current incident, a Cruise robotaxi, which was working with out a security driver, collided with a bus belonging to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Company (Muni). Luckily, no accidents had been reported, however the bus suffered some minor harm, whereas the entrance bumper of the Cruise car was significantly extra affected.
On the time of the incident, the Cruise robotaxi was not carrying any passengers. The GM self-driving unit addressed the incident in a short assertion: “Yesterday, one in every of our automobiles made contact with the rear of a Muni bus. No accidents had been reported, and there have been no passengers current within the Cruise AV. We’re investigating the incident and can take follow-up actions if applicable.”
This afternoon, one in every of our automobiles made contact with the rear of a Muni bus. No accidents had been reported, there have been no passengers current within the Cruise AV, and it has been cleared from the scene.
— cruise (@Cruise) March 24, 2023
After analyzing Cruise’s assertion and a photograph of the occasion, plainly the robotaxi collided with the bus at a comparatively sluggish tempo. The picture shared on social media depicts the robotaxi nonetheless in touch with the bus, and the affect occurred quickly after a bus cease, suggesting a low-speed collision, as reported by Forbes. Furthermore, the airbags within the Cruise car didn’t deploy, as seen within the photograph. This incident underscores the need for Cruise to boost its robotaxi fleet’s efficiency in San Francisco for sensible utilization. It might be inferred that the robotaxi’s sensor suite ought to have recognized the Muni bus, prompting the car to halt earlier than the accident.
San Francisco incident
In a separate current incident, a Cruise robotaxi encountered fallen trolley wires throughout a high-wind storm. The car drove by way of “warning” tape that closed off a street and collided with the non-live wires. Whereas twisted warning tape could also be tough for sensors akin to LIDAR and radar programs to detect, trolley cables are thicker and extra seen. Though the current storms in San Francisco offered challenges, it may be assumed that Cruise simulated such eventualities throughout its robotaxis’ coaching and testing processes. The Muni bus and trolley wire incidents emphasize the significance of real-world testing and edge case coaching for robotaxis to make sure their secure operation. That is one thing that different firms, akin to Waymo and Tesla, pursuing robotaxi expertise ought to prioritize as nicely.
Guaranteeing the security of passengers and pedestrians should stay the highest precedence for autonomous car firms. Thus, they have to conduct thorough testing in various and difficult environments to establish and tackle potential hazards. By doing so, they will construct belief and confidence within the expertise and pave the best way for its widespread adoption. Moreover, sharing their findings with regulators and the general public can facilitate constructive conversations and additional collaboration in the direction of attaining the shared purpose of safer roads.