The crash happened in California on June 3rd, one day after the company received a crucial permit
The autonomous vehicle attempted to turn left while a Toyota Prius was going straight at the intersection
Cruise wants to shift all of the blame to the driver of the Prius
Reports of a California crash indicate that multiple people were injured early last month in an incident involving a Cruise autonomous vehicle.
The General Motors-backed company has been developing autonomous driving technologies for a number of years and it was among the first to be allowed to test its vehicles on the open road in California.
On June 2nd of this year, the Golden State issued a permit to the company that allowed it to become the first autonomous vehicle (AV) operator in the State to charge passengers for rides made without a safety driver present in the car.
Less than 24 hours later, one of its vehicles crashed, injuring passengers in both of the involved vehicles.
Since this happened so close to the permit being granted, the occupants of the modified Chevrolet Bolt were not paying passengers, but the company didn’t mention if they were employees and whether or not there was a safety driver present in the vehicle.
What is said to have happened is that the Cruise AV initiated a left turn at an intersection, right in front of a Toyota Prius that was going straight through, which resulted in the Toyota hitting the Bolt that was now in its way.
The official police report is apparently missing or incomplete, so the complete details are unavailable, but Cruise is adamant that its vehicle did nothing wrong.
Indeed, the company claims that its autonomous car was stopped when the collision occurred, meaning that its systems had detected the oncoming vehicle.
It then went on to claim that the Prius was speeding and that it was traveling in a right-turn lane while going straight, all information that could not be confirmed by the San Francisco Police department.
Cruise might not be as innocent as it says in this situation, since in the weeks following the accident, a number of its vehicles got stuck at the same intersection all at the same time and paralyzed the flow of traffic for hours, which shows that its mapping data is probably deficient in this geographic area.
This crash again highlights an issue with autonomous vehicles that has been pointed out before, namely: Who is held responsible when an autonomous vehicle crashes while no one is behind the wheel?