Since last year, Cruise’s fleet of robot taxis has been operating driverless on San Francisco streets between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and as of yesterday, Cruise is reportedly even allowed to charge money for rides in the vehicles, which are still equipped with safety drivers. It has also been mandatory for years that every license holder for testing and operating autonomous cars must provide a special report to the California DMV if there is a collision with an autonomous car.
While that number already stands at several dozen, where in more than 95 percent of cases the human-driven vehicle opponent was at fault and where autonomous vehicles had a safety driver on board, on Feb. 12, Cruise reported a collision with a driverless vehicle. And at fault was – drum roll – a BMW with a human driver. The BMW turned left from the right lane pointing straight ahead, striking the right front fender of Cruise, which was traveling straight ahead. The BMW driver fulfilled all the stereotypes and simply took off. Except for one thing: since when do BMW drivers use the right lane?
Here’s exactly how it happened, according to the form Cruise submitted:
A Cruise autonomous vehicle (“Cruise AV”), operating in driverless autonomous mode, was at a complete stop in response to a red light on southbound Masonic Avenue at the intersection with Oak Street. At the intersection, an Acura Sedan was stopped in front of the Cruise AV in the left southbound lane. To the right of the Cruise AV, was a BMW Sedan in the right southbound lane. In response to the green light, the Acura Sedan made a signaled left turn onto Oak Street as the BMW Sedan stayed parallel to the Cruise AV. As the Cruise AV entered the intersection, the BMW Sedan made a prohibited left turn from the right southbound lane on Masonic Avenue with no turn signal. The Cruise AV braked and, shortly thereafter, the BMW Sedan made contact with the Cruise AV, damaging the front right bumper of the Cruise AV. The driver of the BMW Sedan left the scene without exchanging information. There were no injuries and Cruise filed a police report on February 12, 2022.
This article was also published in German.