Video: Driverless car pulled over by San Francisco police
SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco police made an unusual traffic stop recently when an officer pulled over a driverless car.
The San Francisco Police Department confirmed the incident happened April 1 on Clement Street in the city's Richmond neighborhood.
Officers initially pulled the self-driving Cruise vehicle over for not having its headlights on while driving after 10 p.m.
Video obtained by KTVU shows an officer walking to what would be the driver-side window of a Cruise car only to find that no one was at the steering wheel.
After the car came to a stop and the officer walks back to the patrol car, the Cruise vehicle drives ahead through the intersection before pulling to the side again and turning on its hazard lights.
Cruise said its car rolled forward to find a safer place to stop.
"Our AV [autonomous vehicle] yielded to the police vehicle, then pulled over to the nearest safe location for the traffic stop, as intended," Cruise tweeted.
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Onlookers can be seen and heard reveling in the scene on Clement Street in the Richmond neighborhood. The video was posted to Instagram on April 1.
"Ain't nobody in it," one man is heard saying.
"Oh my god, I have to watch this," says a woman.
In an email to KTVU, Cruise confirmed the vehicle is part of its driverless ride-hail service, which only operates at night between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The company said the vehicles' headlights were off due to a human error and the issue has been fixed.
Such stops could foreshadow what happens as more autonomous vehicles take to the streets.
"During the stop officers made contact with the remote operator of the driverless vehicle," a San Francisco police spokesman said by email. "Upon the officer's notification, a maintenance team responded to the vehicle's location and took control of the vehicle."
The police did not issue a ticket.
Cruise began offering free rides to passengers in their robotic cars earlier this year.