July 6, 2022

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Cop stops driverless automobile, driverless automobile appears to flee, confusion ensues

Welcome to the longer term, during which law enforcement officials must study to take care of self-driving vehicles which can not at all times cooperate.

An Instagram video revealed on April 2 exhibits law enforcement officials in San Francisco pulling over an autonomous car operated by Cruise, seemingly as a result of its entrance lights are off. The video exhibits the officers strolling across the totally driverless car, attempting to open its doorways earlier than giving up.

Then, the car takes off and drives one other 30 meters or so earlier than stopping after the subsequent intersection. The police comply with, after which we see the officers as soon as once more attempting to open the driverless automobile’s doorways and maybe activate its lights.

In keeping with Cruise, the automobile behaved as anticipated.

A spokesperson for Cruise informed The Verge that the automobile wasn’t fleeing the police; as a substitute, it pulled over on the nearest protected location (notably, a human driver might get into numerous hassle simply driving off like that). Cruise additionally confirmed that the automobile’s lights being off had been the rationale for the cease, and that the problem’s since been mounted.

The surreal video attracted the eye of science fiction author William Gibson, who tweeted about it on Monday.

The situation makes one wonder what the protocol is in situations like this, both on the police officers’, and the driverless vehicle’s side, and whether new legislation is needed to avoid confusion in the future.

This is not the first instance of self-driving cars causing incidents in traffic. In 2018, a self-driving Uber fatally crashed into a pedestrian, and later that yr, a Waymo self-driving automobile hit a motorcyclist — although in each circumstances an operator was sitting within the driver’s seat.

Cruise, which is an autonomous car firm backed by Common Motors, has began its driverless taxi service in San Francisco in February 2022. Waymo runs the same program, however the distinction is that Cruise’s taxis are actually driverless, whereas Waymo’s have a security driver behind the wheel.

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