A hit-and-run in San Francisco last night “launched” a pedestrian in front of a Cruise robotaxi, the company said Tuesday. The robotaxi “braked aggressively to minimize impact,” while the driver of the other vehicle fled the scene. The condition of the struck pedestrian is unknown at this time.
The crash was the latest in San Francisco to involve a driverless vehicle, as hundreds more have hit the road recently for 24/7 commercial service. With more robotaxis have also come a number of crashes, most of which have been minor, though a handful have involved injuries.
The crash was the latest in San Francisco to involve a driverless vehicle
Last night’s crash took place at 9:30PM on 5th Avenue just south of Market Street, according to KRON4. The female victim was found trapped under the Cruise vehicle by emergency responders, the station reports. Police told local news that a human-driven vehicle “may have been initially involved in the collision” before the Cruise car struck the pedestrian. The woman suffered “traumatic injuries” and was sent to a nearby hospital.
According to Cruise, “a human-driven vehicle struck a pedestrian while traveling in the lane immediately to the left of a Cruise AV. The initial impact was severe and launched the pedestrian directly in front of the AV.”
“The AV then braked aggressively to minimize the impact,” the company continued. “The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene, and at the request of the police the AV was kept in place.”
Cruise says it is “actively working with police to help identify the responsible driver.” It is unclear whether that includes sharing video footage from its vehicle’s cameras with police. Spokespersons for Cruise and the San Francisco Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The crash incident has yet to be filed with the Department of Motor Vehicles, which requires all AV companies to report collisions.
City officials, including transit, police, and fire departments, have expressed serious concerns about driverless vehicles intruding on emergency scenes, blocking intersections, and obstructing emergency vehicles. They have also been involved in a number of minor fender benders and rear-end collisions that have some residents worried about escalation as more are deployed.
Update October 3rd 9:23AM ET: Updated to include details from local news reports.