In what appears to be the first incident of its kind, cops pulled over a self-driving car with no one inside it.
The incident that took place on a street in San Francisco was caught on video by a passing person. The video shows traffic cops thinking about how to handle the situation after they stopped the vehicle for not having its lights on.
Welcome to the future. Cop pulls over driverless car (because no lights?) Then Cruise goes on the lamb. (via https://t.co/mtmsIeOAUP) pic.twitter.com/ecQ5xXuSnS
— Seth Weintraub (@llsethj) April 10, 2022
The car is waiting at a stop light. Someone can be heard calling out to nobody in the car as the cop approaches.
The officer looked into the vehicle and realized there was no one inside.
The Cruise car looks like it is about to flee the scene as it suddenly speeds off.
The car's hazard lights come on when it comes to a halt by the sidewalk after it passes through the green light.
A bystander can be heard saying "I'm gonna have to watch this" as the cop car drives up behind the Cruise vehicle for a second time.
Two police officers approach an empty car. A crowd of onlookers can be heard laughing at the strange turn of events as the cops hang around the vehicle. The video ends when a third officer arrives.
The phone number displayed on the vehicle was used by one of the cops to call Cruise personnel.
Shortly after the video appeared online, Cruise responded with a message, saying that his vehicle yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop. No citation was issued after an officer contacted Cruise personnel.
It is not clear why the lights on the Cruise car were off at night. We will update this article when we hear back from Digital Trends.
While there have been a number of reported incidents of self-driving cars being pulled over by cops for apparent driving violations, this appears to be the first case where the car had no safety driver or passengers inside. California's Department of Motor Vehicles gave Cruise permission to drive fully self-driving vehicles on the streets of San Francisco at the end of 2020.
This month's incident highlights some of the unexpected scenarios that can occur with the technology, though one hopes that such safety-related incidents will be few and far between if the technology ever goes mainstream.