Cruise Robotaxi Collides with Emergency Vehicle in San Francisco

An autonomous Cruise vehicle with a passenger onboard collided with an emergency vehicle on Thursday night at the intersection of Polk and Turk streets, according to a statement from the company.

The incident occurred shortly after 10 p.m. in the Tenderloin district. The driverless car, which had the right of way with a green light, was struck by the unidentified emergency vehicle that was responding to a call. The nature of the emergency vehicle has not been clarified by the company.

The passenger in the Cruise car, although able to communicate with first responders at the scene, was subsequently transported to a hospital with injuries described as “non-severe.”

In a statement to The Chronicle, the company emphasized, “Our primary concern is the rider and their welfare, and we have reached out to offer support. We are also deeply mindful of the well-being of the first responders and any individuals affected by this incident.” Cruise is actively investigating the circumstances of the accident and has been in discussions with the city regarding the incident.

San Francisco Fire Department has not yet provided any comments regarding the collision with their emergency vehicle.

In an unrelated incident the same evening, another Cruise vehicle, which was empty of passengers, was involved in a collision at 26th and Mission streets. According to the company, the driverless car, which had a green signal, was struck by a vehicle that ran a red light at high speed. Though the Cruise car detected the impending collision and braked, a crash was unavoidable. The driver of the second vehicle received on-scene treatment and was released. Police have since filed a report on this incident.

Both collisions occurred on a day when city officials voiced their concerns to state regulators, urging a pause on the unrestricted commercial expansion of robotaxi companies in the city. The main concern cited was the potential impact of robotaxis on emergency response times and the safety of first responders.

Cruise and Waymo were recently given the green light to operate robotaxi services 24/7 in San Francisco. Now imagine if this story involved a Tesla, it would be all over the news…