Self-Driving Cruise Car Receives Ticket for Driving Too Close to Pedestrian, Cruise Hotly Denies Charge
It seems that people are getting a little jumpy around self-driving vehicles in the days after a self-driving Uber struck and killed a woman in Arizona, as in San Francisco a police officer has pulled over and ticketed a self-driving Cruise Bolt EV because he said it drove too close to a pedestrian.
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According to Cruise, the car was waiting at a light, and data from the car says that the pedestrian was 10.8 feet away. So, in self-driving mode, it continued down the street, when the officer shortly pulled it over and issued the citation.
Cruise answered the ticket rather hotly in a statement, saying, “Safety is our priority in testing our self-driving vehicles. California law requires the vehicle to yield the right of way to pedestrians, allowing them to proceed undisturbed and unhurried without fear of interference of their safe passage through an intersection. Our data indicates that’s what happened here.”
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Local coverage reports that the pedestrian was not injured, though oddly, despite Cruise’s vehement protests that the vehicle did nothing wrong and was plenty far away, it told the CBS affiliate in San Francisco that the test driver is now responsible for the citation.
The ticket may be a reflection of heightened tension around self-driving vehicles in the wake of the fatal Uber crash, but as Ars Technica points out, coverage on the driving manner of self-driving vehicles is generally very spotty, as California just requires self-driving car companies to report collisions and times when the human driver had to take the wheel for safety.