Woman seriously hurt after being trapped under robotaxi in California, same cars seen in NC

Cruise self-driving vehicles were spotted on the streets of Charlotte in August.
A woman got trapped under a Cruise self-driving car in San Francisco on Monday, several weeks after the cars were seen in Charlotte.
Published: Oct. 3, 2023 at 6:29 AM EDT
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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/WBTV) - A woman suffered major injuries after being run over and pinned under a self-driving car in San Francisco on Monday night, a spokesperson for the fire department said.

First responders received a 911 call around 9:35 p.m. reporting a woman trapped underneath an autonomous vehicle on Fifth Street just south of Market Street.

According to Captain Justin Schorr of the San Francisco Fire Department, rescuers found the woman beneath the left rear axel of the vehicle.

The controllers of the car, Cruise autonomous vehicles, were reached and able to disable the car remotely, Schorr said.

Rescuers were then “able to get the car up off her” and used the jaws of life to free her, but she had multiple traumatic injuries and was taken to the hospital. Her current condition is not known, Schorr said at 10:30 p.m.

Schorr said no witnesses were available to explain how she may have ended up underneath the vehicle, which was unoccupied.

The investigation has been turned over to the San Francisco Police Department, which will be using surveillance footage to help determine what happened, Schorr said.

Cruise said the woman was initially hit by a human-driven vehicle and launched in front of the self-driving car. Cruise said its car braked aggressively an attempt to minimize the impact with the woman. The company said the driver of the other vehicle fled the scene.

Previously, Cruise vehicles had been spotted on the streets of Charlotte in August. At the time, Cruise said it had fleets of the autonomous cars in eight cities.

Representatives for Cruise said the self-driving vehicles will eventually be able to be ordered, much like passengers can order an Uber or Lyft.

Monday night’s incident involving the injured woman was not the first time the cars have had issues. The vehicles have had problems stalling and causing traffic backups, and have been involved in crashes.

It is unclear how long it could be before the Cruise cars are approved in North Carolina.

Related: Glimpse of the future: Self-driving taxis spotted on Charlotte streets

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