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Driverless robotaxi crashes with fire truck in San Francisco; Passenger injured

Watch: Scene of robotaxi crash with fire truck in San Francisco
Watch: Scene of robotaxi crash with fire truck in San Francisco 00:59

A driverless robotaxi in San Francisco was involved in a collision with a fire truck in San Francisco Thursday evening, injuring the vehicle's passenger.

The crash happened at about 10:15 p.m. at Turk and Polk Streets just north of the Civic Center area. According to a firefighter at the scene, the Cruise driverless autonomous vehicle did not yield to the fire truck that was responding to a call nearby.

The truck hit the side of the car and triggered the vehicle's airbags. A woman in the back seat bumped her head and Cruise said in a statement Friday that the passenger was transported by ambulance "for what we believe are non-severe injuries."

Cruise also said it was investigating the crash and was in touch with city officials.

The collision came a day after San Francisco filed a motion asking the state to pause its implementation of expanded driverless car operations by both Cruise and Waymo. 

City officials called for the suspension of robotaxi rollouts following multiple reports of the vehicles causing traffic issues or interfering with first responders. On August 11, a day after Cruise and Waymo received authorization for expanded operations, Cruise vehicles brought traffic to a standstill in the North Beach neighborhood as some 10 disabled cars jammed traffic on Vallejo Street near Grant Avenue on a busy Friday night.

Cruise told KPIX that the Outside Lands Music Festival impacted its vehicles.

"They should take a time-out and a pause until they've perfected this technology in a way where people don't end up burning to death or getting injured," said San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin last week.

After city officials called for the pause in expanded robotaxi service Wednesday, Waymo gave KPIX a statement, saying, "We fully support the CPUC's carefully considered decision to authorize Waymo to charge fares for driverless rides. We will follow this development closely, and in the meantime, continue providing safe and accessible mobility to San Franciscans."

A spokesperson for Cruise said in a statement, "The CPUC's decision was the result of a months-long process that saw public input and support from accessibility groups, labor unions, and community advocates--culminating in a six-hour public comment period where the majority supported expanded AV access. It's unfortunate to see the city use public resources to bypass that decision and restrict a technology with an excellent safety record used by tens of thousands of SF residents."

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