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Robotaxis Cause Massive Traffic Jam After Just One Day of Approval in California

Written by Abdullah Shahid ·  1 min read >
According to reports as many as 10 driver less taxis stopped and started flashing hazard lights for almost 15 minutes causing a massive traffic backup in California’s North Beach neighborhood

After being approved for a round-the-clock robotaxi service in San Francisco on Thursday, both rival companies, Waymo and Cruise, hurried to upscale their driverless taxi service, running multiple robotaxis throughout Friday.

Not until 24 hours after getting the approval, multiple robotaxis stopped at the Vallejo Street in the North Beach neighborhood, continuously flashing hazard lights and showing no sign of movement, these vehicles caused a traffic backup that lasted more than 15 minutes.

Pedestrians walking down Vallejo Street reported spotting as many as 10 driverless ‘Crusie’ vehicles simply stopping in the middle of the road, trapping a ton of human drivers on the road for at least 15 minutes.

Passerbys filmed the incident, uploading videos on multiple social media platforms, which as expected did not have a very accepting reaction.

“I’m not a fan of the (YET to be perfected) hazardous Robo Cars. It’s bad-enough having to deal with idiotic human drivers,” said a Twitter user while quoting the incident.

Addressing the event, Cruise, the company behind these robotaxis, said that the sudden stops were caused by cell phone service issues, which apparently happened due to a nearby music festival, causing the self-driving cars to lose the ability to route the vehicles.

Having just received permission to operate their vehicles on a full time basis, both the Cruise and Waymo faced strong opposition with multiple groups such as San Francisco’s police and fire departments opposing the regulator’s decisions.


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