Self-driving car arrested by police in San Francisco

The San Francisco Police Department recently faced an unprecedented problem when an officer stopped a self-driving car that was driving at night, with the headlights off, no one behind the wheel or no passengers. La vidéo de l’incident, filmée par un passant, a été diffusée et partagée de plus en plus largement sur les réseaux sociaux, au point que Cruise, la société qui possède le véhicule, a réagi sur Twitter pour expliquer ce qui s’était past.

“Our self-driving vehicle succumbed to the police car and then pulled over as planned to the nearest safe location after the stop sign”said a spokeswoman for Cruise Sunday, April 10, commenting on the video shared by a journalist. “An officer contacted Cruise and no minutes were made”the company added.

The video shows a police officer walking to the window overlooking the driver’s seat, to the laughter of passers-by and someone yelling “There’s no one in it! It’s crazy”† The self-driving car then leaves under its own power, a little further after the green light. “The police officers contacted the drivers of the driverless vehicle. (…) The maintenance team took control of the car”said a police spokesman. Cruise confirmed the facts and explained that the headlights were turned off due to human error.

Cruise was founded in 2013 and has developed software that allows cars to drive completely on their own. The American manufacturer General Motors owns the majority of the company’s shares worth more than 30 billion dollars, thanks to investments in Microsoft, Honda and Walmart in particular. It has just taken a crucial step by offering, since the beginning of February, private individuals to book free trips on the streets of San Francisco in its driverless cars.

Residents of the Californian city also regularly encounter robotaxis from Waymo, the self-driving subsidiary of Google. These camera-clad vehicles take general public passengers wherever they want, with a driver present but not touching the steering wheel or pedals.

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