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Self-Driving Bolt Gets Stuck at Taco Truck on First Press Day

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We get that.

GM’s self-driving Chevy Bolt
Photo: Digital Trends

Self-driving vehicles have been rolling down the roads for some time, now, with one of the most prominent fleets being the collection of Chevrolet Bolt EVs patrolling around San Francisco using technology from Cruise Automation, a self-driving vehicle company owned by GM. Usually, the self-driving Bolts are solely the domain of GM and Cruise Automation employees.

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However, on Tuesday, that domain opened up to reporters, giving the first public roadtrips in its test fleet.

And…it didn’t quite go completely to plan. The self-driving Bolt carrying a Reuters journalist went on a 15-or-so-minute ride around a busy area of San Francisco, where it weaved its careful way through traffic, construction zones, pedestrian crossings, and double-parked vehicles—according to the car sensors, it encountered 117 people, 4 bikes and 129 cars, and the Reuters reporter described it as driving “more conservatively than a human driver.”

The slightly sticky situations seemed to be around unusual obstructions, such as traffic cones or double-parked vehicles—after a pause, though, the Bolt found a safe path and resumed.

However, one thing stymied the Bolt’s forward progress—a taco truck. We hungry writers can sympathize. After over a minute of waiting, the human backup driver in the Bolt took over control and guided them around the truck.

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This seems to underline that self-driving vehicles are not yet able to entirely replace human drivers. However, according to Cruise Automation CEO Kyle Vogt, this is a problem that should gradually disappear.

Meanwhile, Vogt said that the winner of the race to make self-driving cars a reality wouldn’t be the first to launch, but would be the first to launch at a “massive scale.” Since GM and Cruise intend to shortly take the self-driving Bolts to New York City, they seem to be well on the way to doing so, as well—so long as there aren’t too many taco trucks, there.

News Source: Reuters