Local resident Paul Harvey, residing in the area, recounted the incident during an interview with SFGATE. He witnessed the car immobilized at a construction site along Golden Gate Avenue, situated between Fillmore and Steiner Streets. The vehicle was unoccupied at the time.
Harvey expressed his concerns, noting potential dangers stemming from such occurrences. “I can see five different scenarios where bad things happen and this is one of them,” he commented. “It thinks it’s a road and it ain’t because it ain’t got a brain and it can’t tell that it’s freshly poured concrete.”
Later, he observed individuals working to extract the vehicle from the concrete, successfully pulling it back onto the road. A spokesperson from Cruise confirmed that company employees were responsible for the vehicle’s removal, and the car has been reclaimed by the company.
Although Harvey remains skeptical of autonomous vehicles, he acknowledged a key advantage highlighted by Cruise and Waymo – the propensity of human drivers to make mistakes. He emphasized his own cautious driving habits when approaching green traffic lights, illustrating the potential for unpredictable human behavior. Nonetheless, he maintained reservations about self-driving vehicles, describing them as “creepy.”
Cruise’s fleet faced challenges during the recent Outside Lands event, where multiple vehicles encountered disruptions due to wireless connectivity issues. Additionally, a viral TikTok video showcased a Cruise vehicle stranded at a crucial intersection near Golden Gate Park.
Last week, the California Public Utilities Commission voted to expand the services of Cruise and Waymo in San Francisco, a decision that was met with some controversy. Waymo reported an impressive 100,000 individuals on its San Francisco service waitlist, with plans to grant access to the service in the coming weeks.
This incident with a Cruise vehicle becoming ensnared in wet concrete serves as a reminder of the complexities involved in autonomous driving technology; While the benefits of eliminating human error are evident, unexpected challenges underscore the ongoing journey toward safe and seamless self-driving experiences.