A Cruise self-driving car in San Francisco.
A driverless Cruise car got temporarily stuck in wet concrete in San Francisco on Tuesday.
The site had been marked off with construction cones and workers stood with flags at each end of the block.
This was just days after California officials approved major expansions to robotaxi services in SF.
A driverless Cruise car with no passengers got stuck in wet concrete at a construction site in San Francisco on Tuesday, SFGATE first reported.
Photos by local resident Paul Harvey show the front wheels of the vehicle sunk into the concrete on Golden Gate Avenue.
“It thinks it’s a road and it ain’t because it ain’t got a brain and it can’t tell that it’s freshly poured concrete,” Harvey told SFGATE.
Construction cones had been used to mark off the site and workers stood with flags at each end of the block, Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for the San Francisco Department of Public Works, told The New York Times. She added that Cruise would have to pay for the affected portion of the road to be repaved.
A Cruise spokesperson told SFGATE that staff removed the vehicle from the concrete.
“I thought it was funny,” Harvey told The Times. “I was kind of pleased because it illustrated how creepy and weird the whole thing is to me.”
This came just days after the California Public Utilities Commission gave autonomous-vehicle companies Cruise, owned by General Motors, and Waymo, owned by Google, the go-ahead to offer fare-charging driverless rides in San Francisco at any hour of day.
This greatly expands Cruise’s operations in the city. Prior to that, Cruise could only offer fare-charging driverless rides from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., or at any time of day with a safety driver present.
The CPUC decision has sparked concerns about the impacts driverless robotaxis could have on public safety, such as blocking access for emergency services.
Gordon told The Times that some Cruise vehicles had driven onto fire hoses or “just stopped in the middle of the road.” Last week a group of about 10 cars created a traffic jam when they all stalled on a street, which Cruise attributed to “delayed connectivity” caused by a festival.
City Attorney David Chiu on Thursday filed an administrative motion asking the CPUC to halt its approval of Cruise and Waymo’s commercial expansion in San Francisco while the city seeks a rehearing of the decision.
A rise in commercial AVs in San Francisco would “inevitably lead to an increase in traffic congestion and the number of dangerous incidents,” Chiu’s office said in a press release.
“We have seen that this technology is not yet ready, and poor AV performance has interfered with the life-saving operations of first responders,” Chiu said in a statement. “San Francisco will suffer serious harms from this unfettered expansion, which outweigh whatever impacts AV companies may experience from a minimal pause in commercial deployment.”
Cruise and Waymo did not immediately respond to requests for comment, send outside regular US working hours.