A host of autonomous prototypes deployed by Cruise in Austin, Texas have been captured on film stuck in the middle of a street in what looks like some kind of twisted, dystopian traffic jam.
Dozens of Cruise vehicles stopped in a street in West Campus and blocked traffic. Videos shared on social media show the fully autonomous vehicles lining the street late at night, some with their hazard lights flashing and others trying to maneuver around each other. Some of the vehicles were even positioned on the wrong side of the road.
This is not the first time that Cruise vehicles have caused a traffic jam like this. Last month, approximately 10 vehicles locked traffic on Vallejo Street in San Francisco. The most famous incident of Cruise vehicles randomly gathered together occurred in July last year when over a dozen prototypes stopped near an intersection, also in San Francisco.
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this is getting our of hand
Those who witnessed the traffic jam in Austin report that various Cruise workers attempted to clear the road by operating the vehicles remotely. A spokesperson told The Drive that the issue may have been caused by heavy foot and vehicle traffic.
“Foot and vehicle traffic on the street was heavy,” the spokesperson said. “Our cars are designed first and foremost to prioritize safety – and that includes using caution around pedestrians. Cruise continuously monitors its fleet, and we were alerted to a crowding event on Sunday morning. We were able to address it and all vehicles departed the area autonomously. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Many locals are growing increasingly frustrated at the vehicles and speaking with KXAN in August, Cruise general manager for the Austin region admitted “we’re not perfect.”
“There will be situations where the vehicle will experience something where it’s uncertain of what to do next. So when it doesn’t know what to do, it will default to its safest action, which is pulling over,” he said.