A swarm of driverless taxis stalled traffic for hours at a junction after one of the technology’s first public trials failed.
More than a dozen self-driving vehicles operated by driverless car company Cruise in San Francisco stopped for about two hours before employees arrived at the scene on Wednesday.
The company did not disclose what caused the vehicles to stop or why multiple cars failed in the same location. Several were immobilized at the entrance to the crossroads, while others were arrested at the exit.
Cruise, backed by General Motors, began charging passengers for driverless taxi rides in San Francisco last week.
It is one of the first real-world robotic taxi services in a big city. The vehicles do not have a safety driver in the front seat.
Under the company’s license, it can only operate taxis between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. and cars are restricted to particular streets. Cruise, considered a leader in self-driving technology, had offered free rides to the public for several months before launching a paid service.
“We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to bunch up,” Cruise said. “While this has been resolved and no passengers were affected, we apologize to anyone who was inconvenienced.”
In April, officers stopped a cruiser after it was found driving without headlights after dark. After initially being confused when they discovered there was no driver in the car to interview, they contacted the company.
Last year, cars operated by Waymo, Google’s self-driving car spin-off, were repeatedly found in an otherwise quiet cul-de-sac on a San Francisco street, with residents saying more than 50 a day were coming. .