It seems that a common comment from people watching the video for the first time is that it appears that the Cruise vehicle was trying to evade the police in a daring moment of folly. Cruise responded to such a comment, tweet that his autonomous vehicle stopped at “the nearest safe location, as intended.” In a statement shared with the BBC, a Cruise representative suggested that the reason the car stopped in the first place – the headlight malfunction – was the result of human error.
The company, which began testing its self-driving robot taxi service in San Francisco in February this year, says its cars are equipped with microphones so they can listen and respond to sirens. The company also has an escalation team with a dedicated helpline number to answer questions from law enforcement. And if necessary, the team can perform tasks such as remotely unlocking the doors of an autonomous vehicle and bringing it to a stop in a safe place. This isn’t the first time an automated car has been stopped by police for breaking the law, and it probably won’t be the last.