Cruise’s Robo-Taxis in Austin Create Traffic Jam at Intersection, Compounded the Issue

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Image Source: Reddit, Damnthatsinteresting

In cities across the United States where local authorities permit the operation of autonomous taxis, even in a test phase, there have been instances of self-driving vehicles congregating in one location, causing disruptions to other road users. In Texas, a similar incident recently caught the eye of a bystander’s camera, once again highlighting the imperfections in Cruise’s control algorithms.

As reported by Electrek, during rush hour in a district of Austin, which serves as one of the few available routes for traveling from north to south and vice versa in the city, one of the prototypes of autonomous taxis failed to complete a turn at an intersection, effectively blocking traffic in three directions. Since there were many other self-driving taxis in the area at the time, they began to create traffic jams while patiently waiting for conditions to clear up, allowing them to proceed according to the rules of the road.

Cruise representatives explained that the area was experiencing high demand for taxi services at the time, resulting in an abundance of self-driving taxis in one location. The onboard navigation system did not provide sufficiently short alternative routes for bypassing the congested area. Operators had to step in and manually redirect the vehicles onto less optimal routes, which, under the circumstances, became the only viable options for avoiding the problematic area. All taxis eventually dispersed, but it took some time to clear the traffic jam. Fortunately, there were no casualties or damage to pedestrians, passengers, or vehicles as a result of the incident, except for the inconvenience experienced by many motorists stuck in traffic.

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Vasyl Kolomiiets
Vasyl Kolomiiets
I'm Vasyl Kolomiiets, a seasoned tech journalist regularly contributing to global publications. Having a profound background in information technologies, I seamlessly blended my technical expertise with my passion for writing, venturing into technology journalism. I've covered a wide range of topics including cutting-edge developments and their impacts on society, contributing to leading tech platforms.

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