Many car manufacturers and transport services like Uber are betting on the rapid development of driverless taxis. But before this dream becomes reality, we will have to do a lot of work to hunt the bugs…
Last Tuesday evening, a few vehicles from the robotaxis fleet operated by Cruise in San Francisco suddenly stopped rolling. They blocked road traffic on busy city streets for several hours before company employees went to the scene and resolved the situation.
An unknown bug
We don’t know what happened. Cruise, a subsidiary of the American auto giant, apologized but did not give further details. “We had an issue this week that caused several of our vehicles to cluster together,” the statement said. Cruise says no passengers were affected and the bug has been fixed.
Cruise got approval earlier this year to run its fully self-driving cars on select streets in San Francisco at specific times in the evening. A first in a major American city. In February, the robotaxis transported passengers for free, and since June 24 the races have become chargeable. This unexplained shutdown does not bode well for the service.
I got to ride in abecause (named Falafel) as an early paying customer this week! Falafel was an excellent driver and the whole ride felt safe and smooth. I couldn’t find an option to tip Falafel so I just left some coins in the cup holder – hope that’s ok.
— Rob Zimmerman (@robmzimmerman)
The State of California requires obtaining incident reports from self-driving vehicle manufacturers. So far this year, 18 reports have involved Cruise cars. However, all is not gloomy for the robotaxis fleet. Some customers are even delighted: after a trip, a traveler even tipped the driver… who doesn’t exist! Others are more circumspect like thiswho complained that the robotaxi had taken a very long ride.