(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) A fleet of confused self-driving taxis caused a traffic jam in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood on Friday evening—one day after regulators voted to allow the self-driving cabs free reign of the city.
The 10 cabs, all owned by the Cruise company, had “wireless connectivity issues,” resulting in the trapping of numerous human drivers and several blocked streets, according to Breitbart.
Social media posts claimed that the nearby Outside Lands Music Festival made it difficult for the cars to adequately connect.
Cruise is reportedly considering building out its own San Francisco-based cell phone network in order to avoid future mishaps.
Human drivers suffered through the unnecessary traffic as the self-driving robot vehicles blocked two major streets in the neighborhood’s restaurant district. The cars sat for an estimated 15 minutes, hazards flashing, before reconnecting to the server and moving on.
— FORTUNE (@FortuneMagazine) August 14, 2023
Cruise and Waymo—driverless cab companies owned by General Motors and Alphabet respectively—recently received permission from the California Public Utilities Commission to charge for rides without a safety driver present at all hours of the day.
The ruling took place on Thursday; the incident in North Beach followed the subsequent evening. The recent resolutions permit fleets of any size and do not have restrictions around mileage.
The vehicles cannot operate at speeds over 65 miles per hour; neither of the companies deployed vehicles onto the city’s freeways.
The city does not require the companies to report how many vehicles they have in operation. City officials vehemently opposed the lifting of the restrictions, largely due to safety concerns.
Transportation and fire officials voiced concern about disruptive incidents such as unplanned stops and unpredictable driving.
“The irony is that this happened the night after the CPUC irresponsibly gave them the green light for unlimited vehicles over the city’s objections,” said Aaron Peskin, San Francisco Supervisor.
Cruise announced they reached 4 million driverless miles on Thursday. The company hit their 1 million mile mark as recently as February.