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It’s a new controversy for Cruise’s self-driving taxis in San Francisco. Two of the latter are accused of having blocked an emergency vehicle in intervention. A serious accusation, since it would have contributed to the death of a man, supported by this vehicle.
The story dates back to August 14. San Francisco firefighters were responding to a traffic accident in which a person was seriously injured. An emergency situation in which every second counts. However, the firefighters lost seconds when they left the scene of the accident.
Two Cruise-brand self-driving taxis were on the two usable lanes. They “had stopped and did not leave the premises”, according to the firefighters’ intervention report, dated August 15. To get out of it, they will have had to move a police vehicle:
“When we arrived at the scene, the only open lanes to leave the scene were blocked by two Cruise self-driving vehicles that had stopped and weren’t moving.” “This delay, minimal as it was, contributed to a reduced chance for the patient.”
Cruise denies and provides a video … which does not shed light on the facts
However, the victim of the accident died between 20 and 30 minutes after arriving at the hospital. Which was less than four kilometers from the scene of the accident. What create a controversy to which Cruise immediately responded.
The company denied any embarrassment. “As soon as the victim was loaded into the ambulance, it left the scene and was never bothered”, she assured. As a pledge of good faith, she even published a video showing that one of the two taxis in question was quickly deviating from the traffic lane. The other, however, remained motionless, with a clear path to its right according to Forbes.
However, it is not certain that this was sufficient for a large ambulance. Remember that this controversy comes at a bad time for companies operating robot taxis. THE local authorities have recently allowed more cars from Cruise and Waymo to run day and night on the streets. The San Francisco Department of Transportation also warned the company in a statement about its license to practice following an accident involving a fire truck in August. Threats to be taken seriously for Cruise.
To sum up
In San Francisco, two self-driving Cruise taxis are accused of blocking an ambulance leaving the scene of an accident. This may have contributed to the death of a patient. The company defends itself, however, denying any responsibility.