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Video Shows Driverless Car Appear To Take Off From Traffic Stop As Bystanders Laugh

San Francisco, CA – Spectators on a San Francisco sidewalk got a laugh watching police officers try to deal with a driverless car that drove off during a traffic stop earlier this month (video below).

The incident occurred on April 1 when San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) officers spotted a Chevy Bolt with a headlight out and stopped it to tell the driver, according to CNBC.

Cell phone video from a bystander showed an officer making a traffic stop on the vehicle equipped with sensors and cameras on the roof.

The suspect vehicle was stopped second in line at a traffic light, the video showed.

The officer got out of his vehicle and approached the driver’s door.

“Ain’t nobody in it,” someone on the sidewalk yelled to the officer in the video.

The video showed the officer approached the car, looked inside it, tried the door handle, and then walked back to his vehicle to get more information about how to handle the driverless traffic stop.

“This is crazy,” someone on the sidewalk said.

Before the officer had gotten to his own car, the driverless Cruise vehicle drove away, the video showed.

In the background, there was some laughter but mostly silence as spectators watched to see what would happen next.

The vehicle crossed the intersection and pulled to the side of the road and turned on its hazard lights, the video showed.

The officer pulled up right behind the Cruise vehicle, the video showed.

“Are you serious?” one woman off-camera yelled. “How does that happen?”

Two officers jumped out of their vehicle, one of them holding a baton, and approached the vehicle from both sides, the video showed.

The officers checked out what they could see and then one of the officers pulled out a phone and made a call.

The bystanders on the sidewalk started laughing when they realized that the scene was under control, the video showed.

It sounded as if quite a crowd had gathered off camera and one woman cried “That’s hilarious” as everyone started laughing again.

Cell phone video showed that some of the officers appeared to be laughing, too, although they maintained their composure and behaved professionally.

Off camera, spectators suggested smashing the vehicle’s window to turn it off, but officers remained calm and were able to make contact with the autonomous vehicle company that controlled the driverless car.

Cruise, a subsidiary of GM, began piloting driverless taxis around the city offering free rides to the public earlier this year, CNBC reported.

The company said on social media after the incident that the car had been looking for a better place to pull over, KGO reported.

“The vehicle yielded to the nearest safe location for a traffic stop,” Cruise said in a statement.

The company said that it worked closely with SFPD on how officers should interact with the driverless vehicles, KGO reported.

Police said no citation was issued to the company.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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