Cruise Autonomous Taxi Encounters Wet Concrete Predicament in San Francisco

Key Points

  • 🚗 Cruise robotaxi gets stuck in wet concrete, sparking discussions on autonomous vehicle readiness.
  • 📸 Social media images show the robotaxi’s front wheels sunken in wet cement at a San Francisco construction site.
  • 🤖 The incident raises concerns about the ability of autonomous cars to handle unexpected scenarios.
  • 🚧 Residents point out that the vehicle likely couldn’t detect the wet concrete.
  • 🛠️ Cruise confirms the vehicle’s recovery and communication with the city regarding the incident.
  • 🌆 The mishap occurs shortly after the expansion approval for Cruise and Waymo’s self-driving services in San Francisco.
  • ⚡ The expansion signals a step towards mainstream adoption of autonomous driving technology according to CPUC Commissioner John Reynolds.

A Cruise robotaxi recently found itself in a rather sticky situation, with photos shared on social media showing the vehicle stuck in wet concrete. The incident incited several reactions online, with some arguing that the autonomous cars are not yet ready for a full, unrestrained rollout. 

As could be seen in photos that have been shared on social media, the Cruise robotaxi, which seemed to be named “Oasis,” ended up driving into wet cement. After a small distance, the robotaxi’s two front wheels sank into the freshly poured concrete, rendering the vehicle inoperable. The incident transpired at a construction site on Golden Gate Avenue between Fillmore and Steiner Streets in San Francisco. 

In a comment to the San Francisco Gate, resident Paul Harvey noted that the vehicle probably could not tell that it was about to drive into wet cement. “I can see five different scenarios where bad things happen, and this is one of them. It thinks it’s a road, and it ain’t because it ain’t got a brain, and it can’t tell that it’s freshly poured concrete,” Harvey observed. 

The SF resident also noted that he later saw people pulling out the stuck robotaxi from the wet concrete. The retrieval of the self-driving vehicle was reportedly confirmed by a Cruise spokesperson. It was also highlighted by the company in a social media post. As noted by the company, the vehicle has already been recovered and Cruise is in communication with San Francisco about the matter. 

The recent Cruise mishap came less than a week after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) decided to allow the expansion of Cruise and Waymo’s self-driving services in San Francisco. With the approval in place, Cruise and Waymo could operate anywhere and anytime in the city and charge for their services as needed. 

At the end of the meeting, CPUC Commissioner John Reynolds noted that the decision was the first step in the mainstream adoption of autonomous driving technology. “Today is the first of many steps in bringing AV transportation services to Californians,” he said.

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