Last week, a late-night collision in San Francisco involved an autonomous car from Cruise’s robotaxi fleet as well as a fire engine, according to both the firm and the local police.
Cruise said that the two cars collided while carrying one person in the company’s driverless car on Friday morning in a post on social networking platform X, formerly known as Twitter.
Operating in a ‘Code 3’ emergency mode
The emergency vehicle, which Cruise claimed “appeared to be en route to an emergency scene,” collided with the robotaxi after it “entered the intersection on a green light,” according to its post.
According to a San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) spokesperson speaking to FOX Business, the fire engine was “operating in a ‘Code 3’ emergency mode” at the time, which featured active lights and sirens. Around 10:20 o’clock at night, police arrived.
Photos from the incident appeared to show damage to the Cruise robotaxi’s right side, particularly to its doors. The photographs also showed what seemed to be airbag deployment.
In a blog post published on Friday, Cruise said that their self-driving car “positively identified the emergency vehicle almost immediately as it came into view, which is consistent with our underlying safety design and expectation.”
The company said “several factors” added to the “complexity of this specific incident.” It pointed to the intersection being “significantly occluded by buildings” making “visual identification more challenging” and said the fire truck “was in the oncoming lane of traffic, which it had moved into to bypass the red light,” something that made tracking its path more “complicated.”
“The Cruise AV did identify the risk of a collision and initiated a braking maneuver, reducing its speed, but was ultimately unable to avoid the collision,” Cruise said.
Non-life threatening injuries
Employees wearing florescent jackets labeled “Cruise” were at the crash site after the accident, according to a photo. Footage also showed a tow truck arrived to assist with the response.
In a statement, Cruise stated that it had “been in contact to offer support and will remain in touch” with the passenger of the hit Robotaxi. An SFPD spokesperson told FOX Business that someone went to the hospital for “non-life threatening injuries.”
The California Department of Motor Vehicles issued a statement to Fox News Digital stating that it has “requested Cruise to immediately reduce its active fleet of operating vehicles by 50% until the investigation is complete and Cruise takes appropriate corrective actions to improve road safety.” The request was made the following day after the mishap.