Robotaxi collides with fire truck

A Cruise robotaxi in San Francisco collided with a San Francisco Fire Department truck late Thursday, CNBC reports. A passenger riding inside the Cruise self-driving vehicle suffered “non-severe injuries” and was transported in an ambulance, according to an official company post on X (formally Twitter) this morning.

The company says its car, which was driverless at the time, “entered the intersection on a green light” before getting “struck by an emergency vehicle.” The post noted that the fire department vehicle was on its way to an emergency scene, suggesting the possibility that the Cruise vehicle did not yield to an emergency vehicle. The crash occurred around 10PM local time in the Tenderloin district of the city.

“We are investigating to better understand our AVs performance, and will be in touch with the City of San Francisco about the event,” Cruise’s post reads.

The incident comes less than a week after the California Public Utilities Commission voted to allow paid 24/7 robotaxi services in San Francisco, handing companies like Cruise and Alphabet-owned Waymo a huge victory.

City officials and residents have pleaded with the state to slow down the efforts, citing incidents in which self-driving cars have interfered with emergency vehicles. San Francisco Fire Chief Jeanine Nicholson said the vehicles were “not ready for prime time.” The department at the time logged 66 incidents in which robotaxis interfered with fire trucks, starting in May 2022.

Since Cruise began testing in San Francisco, its vehicles have obstructed traffic on multiple occasions, including a situation where 10 autonomous vehicles halted traffic in a busy intersection during a music festival. And a cement mason’s worst nightmare occurred on Tuesday when a Cruise vehicle reportedly got stuck in wet concrete.