Driverless Taxis Blamed for Blocking Ambulance Following Fatal Accident

 Driverless Taxis Blamed for Blocking Ambulance Following Fatal Accident

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In another incident involving driverless cars in the city of San Francisco, two Cruise taxis delayed an ambulance carrying a car accident victim to a hospital, but the company claims it was not at fault.

Reportedly, on Aug. 14 two Cruise autonomous vehicles delayed transport and medical care of a car accident victim, who was pronounced dead about 20 to 30 minutes after arriving at the Hospital.

Cruise, the autonomous vehicle sub-company of General Motors, claims that it was not at fault, providing footage showing that one of its vehicles had moved from the scene before the victim was loaded into the ambulance.

On the other hand, chief of the Fire Department Jeanine Nicholson said that “seconds matter” in such incidents and the problem was that responders were not able to access the patient, adding that she has “yet to see Cruise taking responsibility for anything.”

Aaron Peskin, the president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, also said that regardless of this specific incident, the “accumulative total” of incidents involving driverless cars is alarming and concludes that autonomous vehicles are not ready for prime time.

Cruise and Waymo began operating driverless taxis in San Francisco last year, and this latest incident occurred mere days after the companies obtained a permit to expand their services to charge for rides at all hours in San Francisco.

According to the New York Times, the Fire Department said that this case is one of over 70 instances when autonomous vehicles interfered with emergency responders. San Francisco officials have protested the expansion of driverless taxi services since January, pointing to cases where driverless cars blocked emergency vehicles and interfered during active firefighting and crime scenes.

Since the recent expansion of driverless taxi services, Cruise vehicles have reportedly blocked traffic and got been stuck in wet cement, and on Aug. 17 a Cruise vehicle collided with a fire truck, after which the California Department of Motor Vehicles asked Cruise to halve the number of vehicles it was operating in the city as it investigated the incidents.