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Old Posted Apr 13, 2022, 7:30 PM
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An SFPD cop pulled over a self-driving car

Carolyn Said
April 13, 2022
Updated: April 13, 2022 8:18 a.m.

When a traffic cop stopped a robot car on the streets of San Francisco this month, the interaction vividly exposed the divide between the present and the future.

“Ain’t nobody in it; this is crazy,” a perplexed SFPD officer was heard saying on a bystander’s video that went viral.

The autonomous Chevy Bolt from San Francisco’s Cruise was stopped for failing to have its headlights on. It briefly halted for the police, and then took off, crossing an intersection and pulling over in front of a Chinese restaurant, which Cruise later explained as it going “to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop as intended.”

The officer and two colleagues swarmed around the vehicle, trying to open the doors, peering in the windows and shining flashlights inside. Eventually, according to Cruise and the SFPD, the officers called Cruise, which took remote control of the car. No citation was issued.

Experts said the incident showed that autonomous-car companies still have a way to go in figuring out human-robot interactions — although some shortfalls could have been remedied with basic common sense.

Situations like this are bound to be more common now that both Cruise, a spin-off from General Motors, and Waymo, the self-driving unit of Google parent Alphabet, are operating autonomous cars on California public roads with no one behind the wheel . . . .

Waymo, which has racked up years of operations in Phoenix, where it has a robust no-driver robo-taxi fleet, said it has evolved its interactions with first responders over time.

A team of remote monitors “is notified if a vehicle is stopped by police and will promptly roll down windows and communicate with the officer through the audio system in the car,” said Waymo spokesman Nicholas Smith in an email.

Cruise gave a more detailed breakdown of the incident in response to questions from The Chronicle.

All its cars can identify emergency vehicles by their lights and sirens, it said. In this case, its car detected the police car’s lights and stoppped in its lane. Remote Cruise operators then directed it to pull over “at which point the AV identified the nearest safe pullover spot across the intersection,” the company said.

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Old Posted Apr 15, 2022, 9:03 AM
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“Who are we even supposed to kick the shit out of?”
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Old Posted Apr 15, 2022, 12:15 PM
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"Please step out of the car Mr. Rabbit. Have you been drinking tonight?"

I didn't know Harvey the Rabbit had a driver's license.
"Back off man...I'm a scientist."

"Looks like I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue..."
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