Two People Have Attacked ‘Robot Cars’ In LA So Far In 2018

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has reported six accidents involving robot vehicles. In two of those “crashes,” the human was the aggressor, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.

During one instance in early January, a Chevy Bolt EV, which is operated by General Motors’ driverless car arm in San Francisco, was purposefully targeted. The self-driving car was waiting for a green light when a man “ran across Valencia Street against the ‘do not walk’ symbol, shouting, and struck the left side of the Cruise AV’s rear bumper and hatch with his entire body,” according to a California DMV report cited by LATimes.

A tail light ended up damaged from the encounter, but no person was hurt.

Autonomous cars, due to current state law, must have an engineer or some sort of driver in the vehicle even if the fully functioning autonomous technology is employed. The accidents reported involved partially or fully autonomous vehicles.

Only weeks later, a presumably incensed taxi driver slapped a General Motors Cruise Bolt EV for no listed reason, causing a scratch on the front passenger window.


Operational rules requiring a driver behind the wheel expire in April. New regulations will allow no human driver. All crashes, even if very minor, must be officially reported to the DMV, reported LATimes. (RELATED: Distracted Driving Is A Huge Problem, And Autonomous Cars Could Help)

Uber, the ride-sharing giant, temporarily suspended all of its self-driving car experiments in the U.S. early in 2017 after an accident in Arizona caused one of its advanced vehicles to flip over. Previously, Uber was criticized after reports circulated about its driverless vehicles dangerously cutting off cyclists in California.

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