A robotaxi operating company refutes the claim that ``a patient died because an automatic driving robotaxi interfered with an ambulance''

The San Francisco Fire Department reports that two self-driving robotaxis blocked the path of an ambulance attempting to transport a patient at the scene of a traffic accident that occurred in San Francisco on August 14, 2023. Did. It has been reported that this obstruction delayed the transportation of the patient and resulted in the patient's death, but Cruise, an autonomous driving company that operates robotaxi, refutes this claim.

Cruise disputes claim that its autonomous vehicle delayed first responders


San Francisco Fire Dept.: Person Dies After Robotaxi Blocked Ambulance

Person died after Cruise cars blocked ambulance, SFFD says

According to a report from the San Francisco Fire Department, a traffic accident between a car and a pedestrian occurred in San Francisco at around 11:00 pm on August 14th, and emergency personnel rushed to the scene and rescued the pedestrian. Paramedics quickly loaded the patient into an ambulance, but the exit from the scene was blocked by 'two self-driving cars and a San Francisco Police Department vehicle,' and emergency workers were forced to move the vehicles. It has been reported that the ambulance was delayed.

The patient was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where he died from his injuries 30 minutes after arriving. One of the reports stated that 'interference caused by autonomous vehicles worsened patient outcomes and delayed definitive treatment needed in severe trauma cases.' He apparently blamed the driver for the patient's death.

This time, what obstructed the path of the emergency vehicle was an autonomous robotaxi operated by Cruise, an autonomous driving company that is a subsidiary of General Motors (GM) in San Francisco. 'The patient was being transported with life-threatening injuries, but was initially unable to leave the scene because the Cruise vehicle was not moving,' one paramedic said in the report. 'It is unacceptable that we continue to block access to important emergency calls.'

by Maxx@night

However, Cruise disputes the San Francisco Fire Department's claims. Video taken by Cruise's self-driving robotaxi shows that one of the vehicles blocking the road quickly left the area as soon as the light turned green, while the other vehicle stopped and was used by emergency responders to direct traffic. He gave way to the soldiers.

Cruise said in a statement: 'While the self-driving car is stopped, traffic remains unblocked and flows to the right of the self-driving car. The ambulance behind the self-driving car has a clear road to pass the self-driving car. 'There was a path. Once the victim was in the ambulance, the ambulance immediately left the scene and was not blocked by the self-driving vehicle.'

Cruise has not released the video in question, but according to a 13-minute video seen by some news media, it appears that the situation is exactly as Cruise described it. However, local news outlet San Francisco Standard said, ``The video, which Cruise declined to share publicly, shows that 90 seconds elapsed between the time the patient was placed on the stretcher and the time the ambulance left the scene.'' He suggested that self-driving robotaxis may have slightly delayed the ambulance's launch.

Cases in which Cruise and Waymo's self-driving robotaxis obstruct traffic or interfere with emergency rescue operations by crashing into them have long been considered problematic.

The city of San Francisco requests the cancellation of Cruise and Waymo robot taxis due to problems such as ``ramming into fire scenes and interfering with firefighters'' and ``stopping suddenly in the middle of traffic'' - GIGAZINE

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Meanwhile, at its August meeting, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to allow Cruise and Waymo to expand their driverless ride services in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, in the same month, the California Department of Land Transportation reportedly requested Cruise to reduce the number of self-driving robotaxis operated in San Francisco by 50%.

In response to a series of traffic accidents and troubles, transportation authorities request that the number of fully automated robotaxis in operation be reduced by half - GIGAZINE

in Ride, Posted by log1h_ik