A pedestrian was seriously injured Monday night after she was struck by a human-driven vehicle and “launched” in front of a Cruise autonomous vehicle in San Francisco. The San Francisco Fire Department was forced to use the jaws of life to lift the Cruise AV off of the injured pedestrian, who was then transported to a local hospital. Cruise says it is working with police to identify the human driver responsible for the incident.
Cruise issued a statement on the incident in a post to social media, saying that yesterday, at roughly 9:30 p.m. local time, a human-driven vehicle struck a pedestrian while traveling in the lane immediately to the left of the Cruise AV, sending the pedestrian directly in front of the autonomous vehicle. The Cruise AV did not have any passengers in it at the time of the incident.
Cruise states that the AV immediately “braked aggressively to minimize the impact,” while the driver in other vehicle fled the scene. Police reportedly requested that the AV be kept in place at the scene of the incident.
“Our heartfelt concern and focus is the wellbeing of the person who was injured and we are actively working with police to help identify the responsible driver,” Cruise states.
(1/3) At approximately 9:30 pm on October 2, a human-driven vehicle struck a pedestrian while traveling in the lane immediately to the left of a Cruise AV. The initial impact was severe and launched the pedestrian directly in front of the AV.
— cruise (@Cruise) October 3, 2023
Cruise shared video of the crash in question with reporters, but stated that the video would not be released publicly, as releasing the video would compromise the ongoing police investigation. Local ABC news affiliate ABC7 says the video shows the victim was hit by another car first, throwing the victim in front of the Cruise AV before she was run over.
Police state that this is the first time they have seen a crash resulting in serious injuries involving an autonomous vehicle.
Cruise has faced widespread criticism for a number of incidents involving its AVs as of late, including allegedly blocking emergency vehicles, getting stuck in wet concrete, and causing traffic jams. Cruise recently expanded its operations to several major U.S. cities.