Cruise robotaxi pins down US hit-and-run victim

4 Oct 2023

Image: © Tada Images/

The company claims its robotaxi ‘braked aggressively’ when a pedestrian was flung in front of the automated vehicle.

Cruise has been involved in another road incident, with videos emerging of a person pinned under one of the company’s automated taxis.

A video shared by a US media outlet shows a person under the back wheels of a Cruise robotaxi, with multiple people at the scene.

Cruise, the self-driving car business owned by General Motors, shared details of the San Francisco accident and said it was caused by a separate “human-driven vehicle”. The company claims this vehicle struck a pedestrian, who was launched directly in front of the robotaxi.

“The AV [automated vehicle] then braked aggressively to minimise the impact,” Cruise said on X. “The driver of the other vehicle fled the scene, and at the request of the police the AV was kept in place.

“Our heartfelt concern and focus is the wellbeing of the person who was injured and we are actively working with police to help identify the responsible driver.”

TechCrunch said video footage from the automated vehicle shows a pedestrian being hit by a human-driven vehicle, as Cruise claims. Police told TechCrunch that they are investigating the incident and that the condition of the pedestrian is unknown.

Cruise taxis have been connected to a number of road incidents in recent months, which has raised concerns about the safety of autonomous vehicles. In August, one of the company’s taxis was involved in a collision with a San Francisco emergency vehicle.

This incident occurred roughly one week after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted both Cruise and Alphabet-owned Waymo the right to conduct commercial driverless taxi services “at any time of day” in San Francisco.

Before this change, Waymo and Cruise only had permission to offer limited services and were restricted to certain times of day and locations, as well as having a requirement for a safety driver to be present at certain times in the car.

Last month, reports from the San Francisco Fire Department claimed Cruise robotaxis blocked an ambulance that was trying to reach a critically injured patient, who later died from their injuries. In July, a swarm of the company’s self-driving vehicles blocked several lanes of traffic at a city intersection.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic