April Fools! San Francisco police pull over driverless car

In what in any other case would have been an important April Fools’ Day joke, San Francisco law enforcement officials pulled over a driverless automobile operated by General Motor Co’s Cruise unit on April 1 and located nobody behind the wheel. The ensuing video footage has gone viral on-line.

The two officers, who weren’t recognized, pulled the automobile over and have been puzzled by the shortage of people inside, in line with a video posted on Instagram that has been considered virtually 80,000 occasions.

“Ain’t nobody in it. This is crazy,” mentioned one of many officers, who tried to open the automobile door earlier than strolling again to his cruiser. The automobile subsequently drove by the intersection and stopped once more within the subsequent block as bystanders laughed.

The video illustrated what Cruise Chief Executive Kyle Vogt beforehand mentioned was one of many largest challenges for autonomous automobiles – methods to work together with people.

Cruise, which blamed human error for the shortage of headlights, mentioned it really works intently with the police on methods to work together with its automobiles and has a devoted telephone quantity for police to name. Once the officer was away from the automobile, Cruise mentioned the automobile relocated to the closest protected location.

Cruise is working a small variety of automobiles to provide full driverless rides to the general public freed from cost at night time in San Francisco. The firm is in search of the final regulatory approval required to launch business driverless service within the densely populated metropolis.

Ironically, Cruise CEO Vogt final month had mentioned a situation the place a police officer pulls over a driverless automobile has to go easily.

“You are kind of papering over all the weird stuff that can happen when there’s no driver,” he mentioned at a Morgan Stanley convention.

The San Francisco police division mentioned the officers have been in a position to make contact with the automobile’s distant operator and a upkeep group took management. Cruise was fortunate in one other respect.

“No citation was issued during the traffic stop,” the police division mentioned.

Social media had enjoyable with the incident.

“Insane that no citation was issued,” Twitter person Theodectes mentioned. “Why was this driverless car behaving as if it was completely drunk?”

“IT WAS DRIVING WITHOUT ITS HEADLIGHTS!!! Cops weren’t confused, they we’re probably questioning why cutting edge technology somehow can’t turn its own lights on,” Albino Guidedog mentioned on YouTube.

(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin, modifying by Ben Klayman and Bill Berkrot)

By Hyunjoo Jin

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