State Pumps the Breaks on Robo Taxis Following Back-to-Back Crashes in San Francisco

One week after state regulators approved the expansion of robo taxis in San Francisco, the Department of Motor Vehicles has asked autonomous vehicle company Cruise to cut its San Francisco fleet in half. The request, which Cruise says it will comply with, followed back-to-back crashes involving its autonomous vehicles last week.

The first incident occurred Thursday just after 10 p.m. when a robo taxi collided with a fire truck that was responding to an emergency. Although the driverless vehicle had a green light, the fire truck was driving with its emergency lights and sirens on. It’s not clear why the taxi failed to yield. 

No firefighters were injured in the crash, but the robo taxi’s passenger was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. The DMV is now investigating.

On Friday, another robo taxi collided with a Dodge Charger that is believed to have run a red light at 26th and Mission. Police do not believe the driverless car was at fault in this case.

The recent incidents renewed calls for caution as the state prepares to greenlight autonomous driver services across more cities.

Read our previous article on local governments’ concerns over driverless taxis here.