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June 06, 2022


Paloma Ave

Down goes Chester!


Would be interesting to see an autonomous taxi or other AV drive down El Camino where the lane lines in the northbound direction have been wiped out by construction. Reminiscent of when Kramer adopted and doted on a highway by “widening” the lanes.

If you see an AV stopped on ECR, it’s trying to figure out what to do.


The ECR stripes are sort of like water - "you don't know the value of water until the well runs dry". I have noticed how much I miss the stripes and what is it--a 20 minute task?

Today's SF Examiner goes a bit deeper on Cruise driverless taxis. You know things are rough at the Comicle when the Examiner out-reports you with ease. Salient points:

--Cruise declares the taxis can pull over to the curb to load/unload. No explanation for the video showing they did do it in some instances. Cruise notes that it is actually legal for commercial vehicles to use a traffic lane to load/unload passengers. Sort of like how Amazon, UPS, etc just stop on ECR to deliver packages without getting a ticket.....

--Because there is no driver to sign a ticket, SF has directed the police to not issue traffic tickets to robotaxis. The CPUC who issued the permit sort of blew this off, but the DMV sort of punted the question but seems to think it has the authority to revoke a permit issued by the CPUC. Go figure. The rest of it including classic SF whining is here:



Ruh-row. From today's WSJ:

California Regulator Looking Into Anonymous Letter Alleging Cruise’s Robotaxi Service Wasn’t Ready for Launch

A California regulator responsible for issuing driverless-car permits said it is looking into concerns raised in an anonymous letter that General Motors Co.’s Cruise LLC unit was preparing to launch its robotaxi service prematurely.

The California Public Utilities Commission said it had received an anonymous letter in mid-May from a person who said he had been working at the self-driving car company for a number of years.

In the letter, a copy of which was viewed by The Wall Street Journal, the person says that Cruise’s vehicles were regularly stalling at intersections and blocking lanes of traffic, and that employees had concerns internally about the readiness of the self-driving car company’s technology for commercial deployment.

The Journal hasn’t been able to independently verify the employment status of the letter’s author or the allegations raised by this person. Requests for comment sent to the email address listed on the letter weren’t returned.

In the letter, the person describes himself as a father and a Cruise employee for a number of years and asks that his comments remain private.

The letter also raises concerns about Cruise’s internal safety-reporting system, with the self-described employee citing one incident in which he filed a complaint that hadn’t been processed for six months.

The letter also claims that Cruise had regularly experienced incidents where vehicles stopped and were stranded individually or in clusters, blocking traffic. In some cases, the fallback systems designed to take control of the vehicle remotely failed, leaving Cruise employees unable to move the vehicles out of traffic until they were physically towed away, the person states in the letter.


News blurb from Foster City:

Zoox, Amazon’s self-driving unit, has hit the road with its driverless robotaxi for the first time.

On Saturday, one of those robotaxis made its first voyage in Foster City, California, the San Francisco suburb where Zoox is based. Starting this spring, Zoox employees will be able to hop on a robotaxi for a 1-mile ride between two buildings on the Zoox campus.

The maiden voyage is one step closer to bringing self-driving tech to the general public, Zoox wrote in a blog post announcing the milestone Monday. “Through dirt, dust and thousands of rigorous testing scenarios, we’ve proven our technology is ready for reality,” it wrote.


Better get someone working on that Caution Tape widget for the next software load:

Two driverless vehicles operated by Cruise became snared in a downed Muni line on Nob Hill during Tuesday’s intense storm, causing a tangle of cars and wires that took hours to unwind.

The incident happened around 9:45 p.m. on the 1 California line where a falling tree brought down the line at the intersection of Clay and Jones streets. According to John Phillip, who took pictures and tweeted about it, emergency crews came out and blocked off the intersection with caution tape but the autonomous cars drove through the caution tape and into the downed wire, Phillip said in a tweet.


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