San Francisco Police gave a ticket (the lazy human driver at the wheel) to an autonomous Chevrolet Bolt for driving too close to a pedestrian at a crosswalk. SFPD claims the self-driving car (the lazy human driver at the wheel) failed to yield to a pedestrian, according to CBS affiliate KPIX 5. Drivers are required to yield the right of way to pedestrians at crosswalks. The autonomous Bolt is operated by General Motor’s Cruise division. The car was in self-driving mode when this incident happened, now Cruise is trying to dispute the validity of the citation. They claim that data being recorded by the vehicle shows that the pedestrian was more than 10 feet away. Details still aren’t clear, but still a safe distance must be maintained between a car and a pedestrian.
“Safety is our priority in testing our self-driving vehicles. California law requires the vehicle to yield the right of way to pedestrians, allowing them to proceed undisturbed and unhurried without fear of interference of their safe passage through an intersection,” the Cruise said in a statement. “Our data indicates that’s what happened here.”
This incident shows that autonomous technology is far from perfect. If the car is truly driver-less with someone is riding in it and the self-driving car commits a traffic infraction, then who is going to be cited? The passenger riding the car or the owner who isn’t present to receive the citation? In this incident SFPD cited the human behind the wheel, but who knows? Who is the scapegoat when it comes to safety and responsibility of a fully autonomous car?
The Bolt has had several run-ins in the past. Again, autonomous technology shouldn’t be forced upon the people and there are lots of bugs needed to worked out. It seems tech giants like Google, Uber, Alibaba, etc. are all rushing too fast to put this junk on the market. Apparently Uber learned the hard way that self-driving isn’t perfect. Cars still need a human at the wheel and in control when need be, audible warning sounds and driver assists are fine as long as they don’t get too annoying.
Image credit: green car reports