Self-Driving Cars Are Getting Attacked By Humans

Mar 7, 2018

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Basic logic might lead you to believe that malfunctions with self-driving cars would be caused by programing errors or faulty software. But, an unusual percentage of “crashes” with self-driving cars in California were actually caused by humans.

And when we say caused by humans, we mean humans literally attacked two autonomous cars.

San Francisco saw two attacks on self-driving cars in January, according to recent reports from the city’s DMV. The first incident occurred on January 2 when a man in the Mission District struck a General Motors Cruise AV test car. According to the DMV’s incident report, the car’s human driver (who’s there for safety reasons) was driving in autonomous mode when a pedestrian “ran across Valencia Street against the ‘do not walk’ sign, shouted, and struck the left side of the car’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body.”

Now another incident from January is being reported that occurred in the Mission Dolores neighborhood. The perpetrator this time? A taxi driver — maybe worried about the impending doom that autonomous cars could bring to the cab industry.

The DMV report showed that it was actually the same type of vehicle as the one that was attacked earlier in the month. The report described the incident as follows:

“A Cruise autonomous vehicle (“Cruise AV”), operating in manual mode, was stopped behind a taxi on Duboce Avenue just past Guerrero. The driver of the taxi exited his vehicle, approached the Cruise AV, and slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch. There were no injuries and police were not called.”

The DMV requires that any sort of crash, no matter how minor, must be reported. In 2018, seven “crashes” have been documented, and two of those were humans attacking the cars, a third and forth were caused by human error when the cars were being operated in manual mode. Meaning that 57% of crashes this year were actually caused by humans.

Starting in April, California will allow self-driving cars to cruise the streets without a human backup behind the wheel. Twenty-seven accident reports were filed in 2017.

Featured Image by GM / YouTube.

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