GM’s Cruise division has actively been in discussions with San Francisco city officials through emails to prepare a pilot program roll out of its autonomous vehicles. Through some of the emails it shows discussion of a mandatory “law enforcement action plan,” which is to properly train its self-driving vehicles in regards to how respond to emergency vehicles. GM’s Cruise relations head Nadia Marquez wrote to officials that it wants “deferential to everyone’s time and work, but without compromising needed AV safety ahead of our forthcoming pilot launch.” However, the San Francisco police commander accidentally sent Cruise Marquez’s email to Andres Power, an advisor to the SF mayor, who didn’t like that the automaker keeps making changes to its requests. The city then sent a follow up apologizing to Marquez about this not working out the way Cruise wants it to.
General Motor’s Cruise program is far from perfect, which is really what city officials have seen and want addressed before giving the green light. There have been run-ins with Cruise’s Chevrolet Bolts on the streets of San Francisco. So how can these autonomous vehicles properly respond to emergency vehicles? Do they know the need to pull over and give the emergency vehicle space to pass? The problem with these tech companies is that they’re shoving this technology down the throats of the people too fast, when studies have shown that many are still weary of self-driving cars.
In the meantime, Cruise’s full ‘commercial’ launch may have to be delayed again until things are sorted out. Google’s Waymo so far is the only company that has showed the clearest path to commercial launch with fully self-driving taxi rides this year. I personally would be weary riding in any driver-less car, as there is no one to communicate to if something bad happens. What if the car gets hacked or goes takes you to the wrong destination? There is no human interaction nor joy riding in an autonomous car aside from the novelty aspect.
Image Credits: Cruise