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Semitruck crashes into Cruise robotaxi in San Francisco

A Cruise robotaxi enters the Cruise lot on 10th Street in San Francisco on July 19. | Source: Isaac Ceja/The Standard

A semitruck crashed into a Cruise robotaxi near Golden Gate Park. A passerby took to Twitter with a video and pictures of the incident’s aftermath on Monday morning.

The truck appeared to have been attempting a left turn from the right lane while a Cruise vehicle was passing.

“The [Cruise car] came to a complete stop to avoid a collision when it detected the truck beginning to move, but the truck continued and struck our vehicle,” Cruise said on Twitter.

The autonomous vehicle company is “actively investigating” the incident, which occurred on Stanyan and Oak streets near Golden Gate Park.

A company spokesperson said another car was driving in front of the Cruise vehicle and had turned to get around the semitruck; the Cruise car tried to follow the car in front but stopped once the semitruck started to move. The semitruck then struck the passenger side of the autonomous vehicle.

Cruise said the car, named Jingle, sustained a flat tire and damage to its passenger-side wing mirror and one of its cameras. There were no passengers in the vehicle, and no injuries were reported.

General Motors-operated Cruise and its Alphabet-run competitor Waymo are in the spotlight as state regulators prepare to vote on their expansion across San Francisco on Aug. 10. The California Public Utilities Commission regulates the driverless vehicles and has already delayed the vote twice.

READ MORE: Robotaxis in San Francisco: How To Make the Most of Your Ride

City transportation officials have called on the state to slow down robotaxi expansion, urging Cruise and Waymo to collect and share more incident data with San Francisco’s Municipal Transportation Agency. Some activists have taken to “coning” Cruise cars, placing orange traffic cones on their hoods to stall robotaxis on city streets.

Yet some big names in city politics have voiced their support for autonomous vehicles, citing traffic safety concerns.

“I think it’s very, very possible that replacing drunk drivers, tired drivers, angry drivers with unemotional drivers in a way that can be demonstrated and safe could really help us in our fight to make our streets safer,” said Manny Yekutiel, owner of civic events space Manny’s in the Mission, at a recent city transportation meeting in City Hall. Yekutiel is a member of the San Francisco’s transportation board.