In San Francisco, the autonomous taxi company once again attracted the wrath of residents after the death of a homeless man in an ambulance. The emergency services in fact accused the company of having blocked their route, preventing them from providing the necessary care to the victim. However, it was later proven that Cruise taxis were not responsible for the tragedy.
Cruise’s robotaxis once again find themselves in the spotlight in the worst possible way. For some time now, the company has transformed San Francisco into a giant test zone for its autonomous vehicles, generating a lot of friction with the population. Unfortunately, a new tragedy has only worsened the already tense situation. A few days ago, a homeless man died inside an ambulance, the passage of which was blocked by two robotaxis which refused to clear the way.
For the city’s emergency services, there is no room for doubt: “This delay, however small, led to a sad outcome for the patient… The fact that Cruise autonomous vehicles continue to block entry and exit for emergency 911 calls is unacceptable,” the San Francisco Fire Department said. From then on, controversy broke out in the city, among a population exasperated by the malfunctions of autonomous taxis.
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Robotaxis did not cause the death of a homeless man, but the damage is done
However, it seems that Cruise’s taxis are not to blame for this drama. Indeed, the investigation ultimately showed that the 69-year-old man was already dead when help arrived. On August 14, he fell to the ground before being hit by a bus. No one, not even the driver, realizes the accident, abandoning the victim to his fate. After an autopsy, it appeared that she was killed instantly.
In a statement, Cruise said “appreciate this clarification” and promises to continue “make the roads safer”. But San Francisco’s population is unlikely to take off. This is not the first time that autonomous taxis have been accused of obstructing the passage of ambulances. Even so, many people deplore the deterioration of traffic since the arrival of Cruise cars, which are still subject to technical problems that are incomprehensible to a human driver. There is no doubt that tensions will continue.
Source: The San Francisco Standard