Video: See what happens when SFPD pulls over driverless taxi
According to the robotaxi service, officers have a specific number to call for situations just like this
By Suzie Ziegler
SAN FRANCISCO — Police in San Francisco were seen befuddled earlier this month when they pulled over a driverless car. Cellphone video shared to Instagram on April 1 shows the futuristic interaction between a beat cop and a self-driving taxi called Cruise.
In the video, an officer walks up to the driver’s side after apparently pulling the car over. The officer peers inside and, finding no one in the vehicle, tries the locked handle, then walks back to his patrol car. That’s when the Cruise drives away, but soon comes to a stop beyond the next intersection.
The officer gets back in his squad car and follows. More officers arrive to inspect the driverless car, seemingly unsure how to proceed.
On Twitter, Cruise administrators responded to the video, saying that officers contacted the company after making the stop. The company also explained that the car is designed to pull over to a safer location.
“Our AV yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop, as intended. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no citation was issued,” the company tweeted. According to Cruise, officers have a dedicated phone number to call for situations exactly like this.
It’s unclear why officers made the stop, but one Twitter user suggested driving at night without headlights may have been the reason.
Interactions like these will become more common, MarketWatch speculates. Earlier this year, Cruise was approved to begin a fully driverless, free taxi service in certain parts of San Francisco, according to the report.
We work closely with the SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this.— cruise (@Cruise) April 10, 2022
Chiming in with more details: our AV yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop, as intended. An officer contacted Cruise personnel and no citation was issued.— cruise (@Cruise) April 10, 2022
In November of last year, Cruise released a special video for first responders. The video discusses common situations first responders may encounter, what responders can expect from interactions with the autonomous vehicle, and how the technology works. Watch the full video below.