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Cop Slaps GM Cruise Self-Driving Car With Ticket

by Scott Ferguson
Even self-driving cars are not immune from the long arm of the law.

In San Francisco this week, a city police officer issued a ticket to an autonomous GM Cruise vehicle for failure to yield to a pedestrian. Specifically, the self-driving vehicle got too close to a person walking in a crosswalk before it stopped, according to a local CBS news report.

Cruise is disputing the ticket.

In a statement to the television station, the company claims the vehicle stopped about 10.8 feet from the pedestrian before it accelerated again. Once the car started moving, the cop pulled it over and issued a ticket for failure to yield.

The pedestrian was not hurt during the incident.

"Safety is our priority in testing our self-driving vehicles. California law requires the vehicle to yield the right of way to pedestrians, allowing them to proceed undisturbed and unhurried without fear of interference of their safe passage through an intersection. Our data indicates that's what happened here," according to the Cruise statement given to CBS.

Cruise is GM's autonomous vehicle division and the company has started expanding production of these vehicle in anticipation of a larger rollout in 2019.

The incident comes at the same time the entire autonomous and self-driving car industry is facing scrutiny following a fatal crash in Arizona where a self-driving Uber Volvo struck a pedestrian.

In the two weeks since the incident happened, lawmakers have called for greater regulation of self-driving vehicles.

On March 28, a lawyer representing the family of the woman who was killed in that incident, told a local NPR station that Uber has settled the case, but no details were released. Uber also declined to comment.

Since the crash in Arizona, Uber has suspended all of its self-driving car tests, including ones in San Francisco.

The rollout of autonomous and self-driving vehicles is also altering the legal landscape and people are starting to think about how the technology is changing the relationship between drivers and the vehicles they use, according to a new study from J.D. Power. This week's incident in San Francisco is sure to add more fuel to that debate.

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

— Scott Ferguson, is the managing editor for the Connected Car, as well as the editor of Security Now. Follow him on Twitter @sferguson_LR.



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