Only about 24 hours after California voted to approve autonomous taxis’ expansion in San Francisco, several self-driving Cruise cars caused an embarrassing gridlock situation in the middle of North Beach Friday night. And it was all captured on video.
Numerous social media posts show that at lease six robotaxis got stuck in the vicinity of Vallejo Street, Grant Avenue, and Columbus Avenue around 11 p.m. Friday, as KRON4 reported.
😬 @Cruise self-driving operations had a complete meltdown earlier in North Beach. We overheard on the scanner that all Cruise vehicle agents were tied up at the time (not literally) and so North Beach was going to get a delayed response. But wow, WTF!pic.twitter.com/D89xrSxAdu— FriscoLive415 (@friscolive415) August 12, 2023
The videos show many empty-looking self-driving cars flashing lights and stalling in the middle of the street, causing other drivers to stop.
Cruise later confirmed to KRON4 that these incidents were triggered by “wireless connectivity issues,” leading to delays in the cars' movements. They were reportedly linked to the Outside Lands music festival, which caused “wireless bandwidth constraints,” even though it was about about four miles away in Golden Gate Park.
Cruise apologized to those who were impacted and emphasized that it is addressing the problem to prevent future occurrences in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
But local politicians like Aaron Peskin, President of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, still thinks that the robotaxis are a nuisance. He told KNTV that the incident “was just a total meltdown" and that "these things are not ready for prime time."
Just one day earlier, the California Public Utilities Commission voted 3-1 to approve the expansion of robotaxi service in San Francisco for both Cruise and Waymo to operate all-day and take paid fares at all hours, despite opposition from city commissioners and the SF Fire Department.