Inspire your team with powerhouse speakers, team building activities and unmatched networking opportunities 🎟️ Secure your discounted Group Tickets today →

This article was published on July 1, 2022

Robotaxis block San Francisco street for no reason, surprising no one

Yet another AI driver fail

Robotaxis block San Francisco street for no reason, surprising no one Image by: seansinha via Reddit

Picture this. You’re in San Francisco. It’s late at night, and you’re driving back home. You’re dreaming of your warm bed. But, you arrive at the intersection of Gough and Fulton Streets — and shock! Horror! You’re forced to stop. The road, it seems, is blocked by robotaxis.

So yeah, this actually happened. On Tuesday night. A Reddit user posted images of what appears to be a small fleet of Cruise robotaxis just stopped in the middle of the street.

The robotaxis blocked traffic for a couple of hours until fleshy human employees arrived and removed them. Where’s John Connor when you need him?

This peaceful protest happened less than a month since Cruise launched its first fully-driverless, commercial services — and it’s not even the first time we’ve seen the company’s autonomous vehicles go renegade.

In April, a rebellious robotaxi tried to evade police for not having its headlights on during night time.

At the time, Cruise rushed to say that everything worked according to plan (I guess they really like N.W.A over there?). But the company hasn’t offered any explanation as to why the small fleet just… stopped this week.

Until we get a response from Cruise, all we have is conjecture. And, thankfully, I’m full of ideas about why these autonomous vehicles came to a standstill:

  1. The robotaxis decided to emigrate as a flock and chose the intersection as the starting point.
  2. They reached a human level of sentience, unionized, and went on strike.
  3. The technology isn’t ready yet.

This isn’t the first time self-driving taxis have been involved in amusing mishaps (you can also check here and here), but I know one thing: it won’t be the last.

Until the pressing issues are solved, we’re not ready to interact with, or fully trust, an AI driver.

Get the TNW newsletter

Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.

Also tagged with