SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Tuesday’s atmospheric river brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Bay Area once again causing power outages and road closures throughout the region. While humans can see the road closure signs, viewer photos sent to KRON4 show autonomous vehicles cannot.
Photos show two self-driving cars that apparently did not detect road closure tape and drove through the closed street due to downed Muni wires at the intersection of Leavenworth Street and Clay Street.
“Now they are tangled up like flies in sticky traps,” the viewer tweeted.
The photos show the cars are with Cruise, a self-driving car company affiliated with General Motors and Honda. San Francisco has allowed these autonomous cars to navigate its streets without drivers since 2020. Cruise announced recently that it wants to begin testing driverless autonomous vehicles across California.
Cruise replied to the viewer’s tweet confirming that some of its cars briefly entered areas with downed trees or power lines during the storm.
“Some were able to proceed autonomously, but where needed, we immediately dispatched teams to remove the vehicles,” the tweet read.
Autonomous vehicles have become more and more controversial. The New York Times reported that the technology hasn’t made significant advances since the idea’s inception. Instead, there have been deaths, injuries and court battles with companies like Uber and Lyft dropping out of the pursuit of technology that experts say is years from becoming functional enough to adequately handle America’s roads.