Cruise Control

Empty self-driving car books it after getting pulled over by cops

Maybe they're smarter than we originally thought.

Despite what a certain biased, wealthiest man on Earth may have us believe, we’re still not fully comfortable handing our keys over to self-driving cars. Sure, they’ve made a lot of strides in recent years, but... y’know. It’s a lot of faith to place in a computer system that still does dangerous things on the regular.

But hey, fully autonomous driving vehicles are apparently safe enough for states like California, which greenlit both Waymo and Cruise to begin offering driverless delivery and taxi services last fall. Now granted, these permits came with some caveats — Cruise cabs couldn’t travel faster than 35 mph and were only allowed on roads at night, for instance — but we’re still not surprised to see videos like this one cropping up less than six months after getting the go-ahead.

Everyone, please enjoy this brief video of a driverless Cruise car giving its metaphorical middle finger to the police during a recent traffic stop in San Francisco:

Living up to the Chevy Bolt name — Although the particulars are still somewhat murky, the video (first posted to Instagram) appears to show a Cruise, AKA a converted GM Chevy Bolt, pulled over by SFPD for potential headlight issues. Shortly after an officer begins walking back to his cruiser following a failed attempt to open the Cruise’s door, said driverless car makes its daring escape... to about a half a block farther down the road before pulling over once again.

As Electrek notes, it seems that the driverless car was technically doing what it thought was appropriate by re-parking in a safer spot, but that doesn’t exactly make things better and/or less creepy.

The best possible outcome — As amusing as it is to see a glorified, life-size RC car skedaddle from the fuzz, everyone at the scene was lucky to make it out unscathed by the self-driving error. It’s pretty easy to envision a similar scenario going literally sideways, with the self-driving car accidentally injuring nearby pedestrians and emergency response personnel (or worse). Although many consumers and companies are eager to tout driverless tech, it’s clear there’s still a lot of work left to be done before any substantial number of vehicles makes it onto public roadways.