Robotaxi Accident With Injuries in San Francisco

As announced by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), there has been a first(?) personal injury accident involving a robot cab. The accident involving a Cruise driving in autonomous driving mode occurred at 11 p.m. on June 3, 2022.

During the period from 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Cruise vehicles are allowed to operate driverless in a select area of San Francisco with no driver and passengers. I myself have only made a few trips last night from Tuesday to Wednesday (here is the report).

Cruise’s accident report to the Department of Motor Vehicles states the following:

A Cruise autonomous vehicle (“Cruise AV”) operating in driverless autonomous mode, was traveling eastbound on Geary Boulevard toward the intersection with Spruce Street. As it approached the intersection, the Cruise AV entered the left hand turn lane, turned the left
turn signal on, and initiated a left turn on a green light onto Spruce Street.

At the same time, a Toyota Prius traveling westbound in the rightmost bus and turn lane of Geary Boulevard approached the intersection in the right turn lane. The Toyota Prius was traveling approximately 40 mph in a 25 mph speed zone. The Cruise AV came to a stop before fully completing its turn onto Spruce Street due to the oncoming Toyota Prius, and the Toyota Prius entered the intersection traveling straight from the turn lane instead of turning.

Shortly thereafter, the Toyota Prius made contact with the rear passenger side of the Cruise AV. The impact caused damage to the right rear door, panel, and wheel of the Cruise AV. Police and Emergency Medical Services were called to the scene, and a police report was filed. The Cruise AV was towed from the scene. Occupants of both vehicles received medical treatment for allegedly minor injuries.

The way it appears from this report, the Toyota Prius appears to be at least partially at fault, as it continued straight from a turning lane and was traveling at a higher speed than allowed. But the Cruise vehicle also appeared to have made a mistake when it entered the intersection on one side and then stopped there.

This accident is not the first in autonomous mode in which a Cruise vehicle was involved. For example, a BMW touched a Cruise a few months ago. The BMW committed a hit-and-run. A Waymo vehicle was also involved in an accident with personal injury. In both cases, however, the other party in the accident was at fault with a human at the wheel.

The only fatal accident to date was caused by an Uber vehicle. As a result, Uber lost its test licenses and ultimately sold its development department for autonomous driving.

Als 1977 Elvis Presley starb, wuchs die Zahl an Elvis-Imitatoren in kurzer Zeit so sprunghaft an, dass bei einer Fortsetzung des Trends im Jahr 2000 ein Drittel aller Amerikaner ihren Unterhalt als Elvis-Imitatoren verdienen würden.
Wieso kam es aber nicht dazu? Das lässt sich mit den Methoden des Foresight Mindsets erklären.
Zukunft lässt sich vorhersagen. Einigermaßen, mit einer gewissen Unschärfe jedenfalls. Diese Disziplin ist erlernbar und das ist zugleich die gute Nachricht. Man muss nicht erst auf Futuristen und Zukunftsforscher warten, die einem die nächsten Trends erklären. Organisationen können sich selbst darauf vorbereiten und ein strategisches Set an Werkzeugen in ihren Kanon aufnehmen. Die Werkzeugkiste in diesem Buch hilft dabei nicht nur zu reagieren, sondern ermöglicht, von Anfang an die Gestaltung der Zukunft mitzubestimmen.

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This article was also published in German.

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