SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A driverless car was seen in a video being pulled over by the San Francisco Police Department earlier this month. It then appeared to drive off when the officer turned his back on it.
The incident, which took place on Friday, April 1 in San Francisco’s Richmond District, involved a vehicle operated by Cruise, a self-driving ride service.
In the video, the officer is seen getting out of his vehicle to approach the Cruise, trying its door and turning to walk back to his patrol car. That’s when the Cruise takes off, crosses an intersection and comes to a stop. Two officers then get out of the patrol car to engage with the driverless vehicle.
A statement provided by Cruise to NewsNation local affiliate KRON explained that the vehicle was pulled over because it did not have its headlights on due to a human error. The San Francisco-based company said, “the vehicle yielded to the police car, then pulled over across the intersection which was the nearest safe location for a traffic stop.”
An officer contacted Cruise and no citation was issued, according to a tweet from Cruise. In a separate tweet, Cruise said it works “closely with SFPD on how to interact with our vehicles, including a dedicated phone number for them to call in situations like this.”
Cruise told KRON it has fixed the issue that led to the vehicle being pulled over in the first place.
There is still much work to be done in perfecting the programming of autonomous vehicles, said Dr. Steven Shladover, a research engineer at the University of California Berkley.
“This is all part of the process of the developers of the vehicles and members of the public and people in law enforcement learning how to interact with each other,” Shladover said. “That’s why we’re still in the prototype stage.”