A pedestrian was seriously injured after getting hit by two cars in San Francisco on Monday night, one of which was a Cruise robotaxi. The woman was crossing the intersection of Market and 5th streets when she was struck by a human-driven vehicle. The impact was so notable that she rolled into the path of the Cruise vehicle.
The Cruise robotaxi, which did not have a passenger at the time, ended up running over the pedestrian, stopping and pinning her to the ground with its rear axle and tire over a leg. Police noted that the driver of the vehicle that initially struck the pedestrian fled the scene. A search for the car and its driver has been initiated.
The driverless taxi reportedly came to a halt and turned on its hazard lights as soon as it sensed something underneath its rear axle. In a comment to ABC7, the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) noted that emergency personnel used the Jaws of Life to lift the Cruise robotaxi off the trapped pedestrian.
The SFFD noted that the incident was the most serious they have encountered so far related to a driverless car, and that the pedestrian has been transported to SF General Hospital with multiple traumatic injuries. Cruise, for its part, noted in a statement that it is working with authorities to identify the driver that initially hit the pedestrian. The company also stated that it was sharing video of the crash with investigators, as noted in a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The following is Cruise’s statement about the incident.
“At approximately 9:30 p.m. on October 2, 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 driver of the other vehicle fled the scene, and at the request of the police, the AV was kept in place. Our heartfelt concern and focus is the wellbeing of the person who was injured, and we are actively working with police to help identify the responsible driver,” the company noted.
The incident is the latest incident involving driverless robotaxis in San Francisco. In August, the California Department of Motor Vehicles slashed Cruise’s operations in the city by 50% following incidents that included two crashes that happened on the same night. With the adjustment, Cruise would not operate more than 50 robotaxis during the day and 150 driverless cars at night.
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