Driverless Hell: Another Cruise Robotaxi Crashes in San Francisco, This Time Into a Fire Truck

Chris Teague
by Chris Teague

There has been a lot of talk about Tesla owners abusing the cars’ semi-autonomous driving features and crashing into emergency vehicles, but there was at least a driver present in those situations. Cruise, General Motors’ autonomous taxi division, can’t seem to keep its vehicles out of trouble, as they keep crashing into things in their home test city of San Francisco. Last night, a taxi crashed into a fire truck, sending one person to the hospital. 

The accident happened after 10 pm in the city’s Tenderloin district, and the news video shows the car’s side smashed up after hitting the fire truck, which was at a call nearby. Cruise’s statement noted that the car had a green light when it entered the intersection, and the truck struck it on the way to the emergency call. The Cruise passenger was taken to a local hospital and treated for non-severe injuries, and the company said it was investigating the crash. 

While dramatic and likely very frightening for the people helplessly riding in the Cruise taxis, misbehaving robotaxis have become a part of life for San Franciscans. Cars have been known to stop in the middle of major city roads, and there have been several other reports of crashes, including a recent collision with a turning semi-truck. The city recently approved an expansion of autonomous taxi testing for Cruise and Google’s Waymo, so the situation will likely get a bit more stressful for residents before it gets better. 

[Image: Screenshot of ABC News 7 Video]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Chris Teague
Chris Teague

Chris grew up in, under, and around cars, but took the long way around to becoming an automotive writer. After a career in technology consulting and a trip through business school, Chris began writing about the automotive industry as a way to reconnect with his passion and get behind the wheel of a new car every week. He focuses on taking complex industry stories and making them digestible by any reader. Just don’t expect him to stay away from high-mileage Porsches.

More by Chris Teague

Join the conversation
9 of 33 comments
  • Ras815 Ras815 on Aug 19, 2023

    yes...but what's the rate of accidents compared to human drivers, though?

    This whole approach reeks of alarmist journalism, and the typical reactions here ("get them off the streets!!") are the sort of simplistic conclusions that come from any fear of new technology combined with misleading statistics and inflammatory headlines. I'd rather see some kind of nuanced reporting. How many rides go perfectly well with no issues? How many times in these accidents is another driver at fault?

    • See 2 previous
    • 285exp 285exp on Aug 23, 2023

      Ras, who has the deepest pockets, the self driving taxi companies or some Uber driver?Would you cover self driving taxis if you were the insurance carrier?

  • Tassos Tassos on Aug 20, 2023

    In the news last week:

    "Billionaire investor Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway has sold nearly half of its stake in General Motors, with experts speculating that the move was prompted by concern over slow electric vehicle launches and an uncertainty over UAW talks as the potential for a strike looms.

    Berkshire Hathaway said it reduced its shares of GM stock from 40 million to about 22 million during the second quarter, according to Monday's quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission."

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Aug 20, 2023

      " the overall economic outlook is clouded"

      Whoa, whoa whoa... you told us nothing but sunny skies ahead? Have you changed your Official Outlook?

  • Ffighter69 Ffighter69 on Aug 20, 2023

    What I would like to know is whether the fire truck stopped at the red light before proceeding through as the law requires. Only after that is the ownness on the vehicles that have a green light and even then the fire truck is required to proceed with caution and with lights, sirens and horns activated. I would hope that the car manufacturers have programed the vehicles to pull to the right and stop when safe to do so which 75% of drivers don't do in North America. There's a difference with this incident. The fire truck hit the car where Teslas make a bee line and sometimes speed up and hit the emergency vehicles that are stopped. ffighter69

  • RHD RHD on Aug 22, 2023

    At this rate, the robot cars will be damaged out of existence before too long. Natural selection apparently works beyond sentient life forms.