SAN FRANCISCO - As many as 10 Cruise driverless taxis stopped working in San Francisco’s North Beach on Friday night. The tech fiasco caused traffic to back up and left many people questioning the decision by state regulators to approve the expanded use of robotaxis.
On Thursday, California's Public Utilities Commission approved the expansion of driverless taxi companies Waymo and Cruise to operate round-the-clock services in San Francisco. It was only a day later when several Cruise vehicles "created traffic chaos," according to Supervisor Aaron Peskin.
Peskin, who presides over District 3, tweeted a video Saturday morning of at least five Cruise cars with their hazard lights causing gridlock.
According to a witness, the incident occurred on Grant and Columbus Avenues and Vallejo Street.
"Why do state commissioners think it's OK to put people in danger + create traffic chaos on our neighborhood streets? We warned them + they refused to listen," Peskin tweeted on X, formerly known as Twitter.
Cruise told KTVU in a statement a "large event" caused "wireless connectivity issues causing delayed connectivity to our vehicles."
"We are actively investigating and working on solutions to prevent this from happening again and apologize to those impacted," Cruise's statement.
KTVU reached out to the San Francisco Police Department and organizers for Outside Lands if the music festival was the "large event" Cruise referred to.
The expansion faced criticism not just from ordinary citizens, but agencies such as the San Francisco Fire Department.
"I appreciate the safety that autonomous vehicles can bring to the table in terms of no drunk drivers, no speeding all of that kind of stuff," said Nicholson before Thursday's vote. "However, they're still not ready for prime time because of how they've impacted our operations."
Peskin added to that saying, "This is a fundamental, systemic, and dangerous flaw in the technology that needs to be addressed before there’s expanded deployment and the state of California needs to get its act together and regulate appropriately."
CPUC has not yet responded to KTVU's request for comment.
O. Gloria is a digital reporter KTVU. Email O. Gloria at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 510-874-0175. Follow her on Twitter at @ogloriaokorie.