Simulations are all well and good, but out in the real world, fully autonomous vehicles will have to contend with a whole variety of unforeseen scenarios and potential hazards. That includes fallen wires and other storm-related issues, as a pair of Cruise AVs recently discovered in San Francisco.
Per a recent post to social media by Twitter user @PopRag, recent storms in California resulted in some wires blocking an intersection, which two Cruise AVs failed to detect.
Apparently, the intersection was blocked-off by caution tape, but the Cruise AVs either did not detect the tape, or failed to register it as an issue, leading to the two autonomous vehicles to get “tangled up like flies in sticky traps,” per the social post.
Photos taken at the intersection show what appears to be a four-way stop, where one Cruise AV (“Zircon”) is just ahead of a second Cruise AV. The lead vehicle is seen with caution tape wrapped around the sensor array on the roof, with a street wire also thrown into the mix. The vehicle in the rear also appears to be tangled up in the street wire.
Of course, this isn’t the first time that a Cruise AV has been involved in some sort of incident out on public roads. Per previous GM Authority coverage, the Cruise fully autonomous vehicles have been involved in several incidents wherein the AVs have blocked traffic. One incident last year even resulted in a collision and injuries.
Cruise published its first safety report in November, highlighting 500,000 driverless miles without any major incidents. Nevertheless, one recent study indicates that drivers are becoming increasingly fearful of autonomous vehicles.
More weather drama in my neighborhood. 2 driverless cars didnt detect 1) the caution tape blocking my street and 2) the down @SFMTA_Muni wires. Now theyre tangled up like flies in sticky traps. 🌧 🤷🏽♂️ 🌧 @SFGate @kron4news @nbcbayarea pic.twitter.com/cLdGjvorRE
— John-Phillip 🐳 (@PopRag) March 22, 2023
Regardless, Cruise continues to push the technology forward, extending its real-world testing to daytime driverless rides last November, and expanding its rider program to Phoenix and Austin last December.