A busy San Francisco freeway interchange was brought to a standstill after a fleet of malfunctioning driverless cars blocked traffic for hours.
The swarm of cruise robotaxis brought vehicles to a standstill on Gough Street and Fulton Street on Tuesday night as a public test of the new technology went horribly wrong.
Traffic was reportedly disrupted for two hours as company employees rushed to the scene to fix the botched cars.
Images shared on Reddit showed the extent of the malfunction with several driverless vehicles stationed at the entrance and exit of the intersection.
It left a traffic queue in its wake while frustrated drivers were left angry.
“The first thing I say to my colleague is that they are conspiring to murder us,” wrote one amused motorist on Reddit.
“It was quite a surreal event. People had to come and take away the cars manually. Cruise should be fined for blocking the road for so long.
“They even managed to keep the street sweeper from hitting an entire block.”
Cruise, which is backed by General Motors, has not revealed what caused the vehicles to stop or why they suffered the same failure at the same spot.
“We had an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to bunch up,” a company spokesman said.
“Although it has been resolved and no passengers were affected, we apologize to anyone who caused the inconvenience.”
According to Techcrunch, the vehicles were eventually recovered through a combination of remote assistance and manual recovery.
No accidents have been reported due to the disruption.
The embarrassing mishap came just a week after Cruise launched its paid driverless commercial taxi service in San Francisco — billed as a world first in a major city.
The company’s license allows the services to operate between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., with cars restricted to certain streets.
Cruise previously offered free rides to the public for several months before launching its paid service.
However, questions have continued to be raised about their safety and whether they are violating motor vehicle laws.
Police reportedly stopped a Cruise vehicle in April after it was driving after dark without its headlights on.
In a widely shared Instagram clip, officers were caught on camera looking confused after discovering the vehicle had no driver.
https://www.the-sun.com/tech/5687819/driverless-robotaxis-block-street-hours/ Driverless car traffic jam as robotaxis standstill & blocking the road for HOURS