Despite a few confusing moments, Cruise says car behaved properly.
What happens if a police officer pulls over a self-driving car?
Mostly, there’s befuddlement.
In an April 1 Instagram video, a driverless Cruise car is seen being pulled over by San Francisco cops while reportedly travelling at night without its headlights on. As a cop approaches the driver’s side, he finds that there is no driver.
The Cruise resumes its journey and crosses an intersection before halting in front of a restaurant on Clement Street in the city’s Richmond District while the perplexed police returns to his car. The police car arrives, and cops get out to investigate the unoccupied vehicle more thoroughly before making a call — presumably to Cruise.
“Are you serious? How does that happen?” one bystander is heard saying.
The video was tweeted Saturday by tech journalist Seth Weintraub, which prompted a response Sunday by Cruise — the autonomous-vehicle company that is majority-owned by General Motors Co. GM, 2.76% — which said the car acted properly.
“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, adding that “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.”
The odd interaction will likely become a more common one, in San Francisco at least.
Earlier this year, Cruise gained regulatory approval to begin its fully driverless, free robotaxi service in certain parts of San Francisco. Alphabet’s GOOGL, -2.85% Waymo has also begun offering fully driverless rides in San Francisco, though only for Waymo employees for the time being.