Self-driving cars at the intersection of the GM cruise block in San Francisco

A robot car of a subsidiary of General Motors Cruise is being tested.

Andrey Sokolov | photo union | Getty Images

Automotive and tech executives have long promised that autonomous vehicles will drive better than humans, but that didn’t happen with Cruise’s fleet of cars this week in San Francisco.

Company, majority subsidiary General Motors, confirmed that he had “an issue earlier this week that caused some of our vehicles to cluster together.” A spokesman for the company said the issue was “resolved and no passengers were harmed” but declined to provide details.

We shared photos and a description of the Cruise robot taxi blocking several lanes in San Francisco. on reddit and Twitter. At least seven Cruise vehicles piled up at the intersection of Gough and Fulton Streets in the Civic Center area late Tuesday evening, potentially blocking both-way traffic on one of the streets.

It’s unclear how long the cars blocked traffic or what caused the situation with the vehicles now serving paying customers on some streets in San Francisco.

The incident is another example of how difficult it is to develop and deploy fleets of unmanned vehicles. The commercialization of autonomous vehicles has proven to be a much more difficult task than many predicted just a few years ago. The problems have led to consolidation in the autonomous vehicle sector after years of enthusiasm touting the technology as the next one. multi-trillion dollar market for transport companies.

The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management has been notified and has contacted Cruz about the issue, San Francisco Police Department communications officer Katherine Winters told CNBC. According to her, no security forces went to the place.

The incident comes about a week after Cruise became the first company to offer self-driving rides to the public in a major city. Vehicles operate from 10 pm to 6 am on designated San Francisco streets.

Alphabet-backed Waymo has reportedly had similar issues with its autonomous vehicles congesting in the city. KPIX-TV, CBS affiliate in San Francisco, reported in October that Waymo cars were getting stuck in a dead end street.

Cruise’s issue also came months after an online video showed offline Cruise. the vehicle is stopped by the police. In a video posted on April 1, the Cruise vehicle first pulled over and stopped as the officer approached the driver’s side before it crossed the intersection and continued down the road.