back to article Human knocks down woman in hit-and-run. Then driverless Cruise car parks on top of her

A woman in San Francisco is in critical condition after being first struck by a hit-and-run driver, and then falling in front of a driverless Cruise car, which ran her over and trapped her under its wheels. The accident occurred on Monday in the US city's downtown, near the intersection of Market and Fifth Streets, at 2135 PT …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

    That's the law. As a driver in normal car, if my view of the crosswalk is blocked - which it frequently is by tall giant SUV's - then I hang back just a tad so that any uniwheel electric skateboard rushing across a stale yellow light will get hit by the SUV and not me. I'm disappointed Cruise didn't know that trick, does Waymo?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

      Indeed.

      I was in this situation just recently and got blasted from behind for not moving forward.

      Only for a black cab to run a red across us at speed!

      If you can’t see, don’t go.

      1. AndrueC Silver badge
        Stop

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        Yup. 'Green' does not mean go. It means 'Proceed if you can see that it is clear do so'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

          “Red light - stop. Green light - go. Yellow light - go very fast.”

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

            I think maybe a couple of people didn't get your (excellent) reference there.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

            An Italian colleague of mine said before my trip there "In Italy we have two speeds,

            Stop and Go"

            After my trip I agree with her.

            1. Snowy Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

              They have a stop?, not a go and go faster!

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

      Unfortunately that requires common sense and defensive driving, something the majority of drivers unfortunately lack (US drivers seem pretty bad in general from what I've seen).

      1. El Al
        Coat

        US motorists are all crazy

        ... they drive on the pavement!

        (Badum-tish. I'll get my coat)

      2. ThomH

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        I never bothered learning to drive in the UK, I waited until I'd moved to San Francisco.

        The process was: five one-hour lessons, starting the first lesson in a large car park but on real streets within the hour, and onto the freeway a couple of times within the five. Followed by the test, which involved driving around the block for about fifteen minutes, then reversing... in a straight line. They have lanes specially painted for this part of the test in front of the test centre*, which you drive into from the back. So the test is: can you press a pedal while remembering not to turn the wheel?

        That's it. Licence acquired. Compared to what I understand of the UK test: no substantial traffic, no road-sign navigation, no parallel parking or reversing around corners, no maintenance questions, little of everything else due to the short length of the test.

        I've not had any accidents but I've had plenty of opportunities since, ummm, 'to grow my experience'.

        * yes, the DMV in Panhandle, in case anybody's local.

        1. Joe 59

          Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

          California's road test is, and has been for ages, at least the following standard checklist items:

          Starting your vehicle

          Merging to traffic

          Following other traffic

          Backing up

          Parallel parking

          Making a U-turn

          Pulling over to the side of the road and stopping

          Moving away from a parked position onto the road

          And it's as much as 20 minutes long.

          Sounds like you didn't get a license, but just took some classes.

          1. Gene Cash Silver badge

            Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

            Actually, I don't know anybody (nor in 50 years have I been) asked to parallel park, back up, deal with any traffic or pull over and stop in a driving test. The only time I was asked to do the 3-point U-turn was my first exam.

            It's been mostly,

            1. Written test with 10 softball questions like "what does the red octagonal sign mean?"

            2. Vision test - basically the top 2 or 3 rows of the chart. I can pass it without my glasses. That's bad.

            3. A spot of driving around the back of the DOT office with the hardest part being braking when the guy says "stop!"

            Americans do not take driving seriously. An "accident" (wreck) is shrugged off as an act of God... it just happened and it was not my fault!

            1. Marty McFly Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

              I got to parallel park for my driver's test. I also got to park a manual transmission car on a hill. Failed a point for not turning my wheels to the curb. Also failed a point for not checking to see if a sidewalk was clear before checking traffic when entering a road. Yeah, I never forgot those two points. I still was above the bar and managed to pass on my first try.

              Granted this was back in the days of high-school Driver's Ed courses, so the DMV test had to be more stringent. I think driver training has largely transitioned to independent driver training schools. Their certificate of completion attests to the new driver's proficiency at performing those tasks which I had to be tested on. So it is reasonable that a current DMV driving test is significantly less involved than what I experienced.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

                We received 20 driving simulators in the 90s as part of a grant provided to our school. The simulators were somewhat enclosed with a seat, steering wheel, accelerator, break, speedometer, and some emergency lights. Each simulator had a computer and a monitor built in. Situations were presented on the monitor while the computer evaluated student driving and reactions. We would receive the results after each simulation and additional simulations would be adapted to help train out deficiencies. I remember vaguely that, speed, lane drift, reaction times, reaction direction, and several other items were evaluated. Students gradually improved through the semester. The whole thing was pretty slick and high tech for 1992/1993*

                * seems too many moons back and the memory is masked by a smoggy haze

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
                  Joke

                  Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

                  "The whole thing was pretty slick and high tech for 1992/1993*

                  Nowadays, it's much more advanced, although students are expected to purchase their own driving simulator hardware and software. I believe the approved options are Carmageddon and Grand Theft Auto.

        2. AndrueC Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

          Hah. I had half a dozen lessons before the instructor tried to book me in. At that time the test centre was busy with people from Liverpool coming down to North Wales to take their test as part of a holiday. Anyway it meant I got another half a dozen lessons at half price so was very confident when I took my test.

          As expected the first thing I was asked to do after leaving the centre was cross the main dual carriageway into Llandudno town centre and head out to the promenade where coaches are always blocking half the road and tourists are wandering around like mindless sheep.

          The route to the prom requires you to get into the turn right lane. Great fun at half past nine on a week day :)

    3. thondwe

      Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

      Likely the Cruise Car will have sensors mounted right at the front - so much more likely to have sensed someone on the crosswork - but NOT in the front of the car at the time of movement - Yet another "What if scenario we should have already thought about" Software update required?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        In most places, no matter what colour the lights, if there's someone still crossing the road after the lights change, you still wait. The fact the human driven car hit her is bad enough, but the self-driving car should not have even started moving if it had seen her and if the correct "rules of the road" were properly programmed in . The poor pedestrian might have got away with a minor injury if the Cruise car was following the correct procedure, so in my view, both the human driver and the Cruise vehicle were at fault. But ;lets see who the "driver" of the Cruise vehicle is when it comes to court. I'm sure the insurance companies would like to know too. This could be a landmark case.

    4. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

      Glad to hear of your safe driving practices, AC "I hang back just a tad so that any uniwheel electric skateboard rushing across a stale yellow light will get hit by the SUV and not me."

      All one-wheel electric skateboards have been recalled:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-66984278

      "All Onewheel electric skateboards sold worldwide will be recalled after four people died while riding them.

      US watchdog the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled all 300,000 devices sold in the US, citing a risk of crashes causing serious injuries.

      Future Motion, which makes Onewheels, told the BBC the recall applies to all customers, not just those in the US."

      1. khjohansen
        Alien

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        It can be a leprechaun astride a unicorn chasing Santa Claus for all I care - if it's in the crosswalk I'll be stationary!

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

          Upvoted your post, but mystified by the downvotes to my post.

      2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        Oh, well I'm sure the douchebag I see riding one round here on the pavement cares deeply about that.

      3. PRR Silver badge

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        > All one-wheel electric skateboards have been recalled:

        Follow-through the BBC article.

        1) "Onewheel™" trademark product is NOT the whole onewheel market- I saw heaps of non-Onewheel™ single-tyre products on a bargain shopping site.

        2) The "Onewheel™" "recall" does not remove products from the streets. For several models you just install a firmware update and go crossing the crosswalks some more. IAC, US recalls are not enforced. I drove a lethal Honda after I got tired of airbag replacements which were also defective.

        Red herring? Around here we actually DO have herring in the roadway (lobster bait truck flip), and a Santa has been seen (not hit), so number of wheels is moot.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

          Indeed, but I plead victim auto-correct which changed "Onewheel" to "one-wheel" erroneously in my post. Apologies.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        "US watchdog the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled all 300,000 devices sold in the US, citing a risk of crashes causing serious injuries."

        I wonder how the number of accidents per OneWheel stacks up against other forms of transport and how many others they are planning on "recalling" based of those relatively low statistics? eScooters is the most obvious one that comes to mind, but maybe cars too? :-)

      5. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Re: "Should the Cruise car have not started moving if there was a person still on the crosswalk?"

        Not sure why you think the OneWheel recall is relevant... Most models can be patched, so will be returned to use following the software update.

  2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

    Trading Places

    I bet we'd see a different Cruise "testing environment" had it been a Very Important Person -- say, SF's mayor -- who had been hit and pinned by Cruise AV #ED-209 rather than an ordinary citizen. Not that his Mayorship would do anything so "pedestrian" as walking in a crosswalk over being driven in a limousine (in a crosswalk).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trading Places

      Her Mayorship London Breed. Doesn't get any more British than that.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Trading Places

        If you Brits want her you can have her. She's mostly useless, and completely unnecessary around here.

        1. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

          Re: Trading Places

          Useless and unnecessary? Send her over! We'll give her the home office, it will be a huge improvement.

          1. Dabooka

            Re: Trading Places

            I agree wholeheartedly, would be an upgrade on what we have.

            Actually I'll take her here at work too

      2. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Trading Places

        I always thought 'London Breed' was a wartime song by Noel Coward, Ivor Novello, and Winston Churchill.

        Or maybe a film with Anna Neagle.

  3. jake Silver badge

    My first thought ...

    ... on hearing that they weren't releasing the video to the general public, even in edited form, was that the video itself is probably a fake, and there was no second car. The only people who have seen it are law enforcement (not likely to be able to spot a faked video) and the local news, who also are easily taken in by fakes.

    Just a thought.

    I wish the woman in question a speedy and complete recovery.

    1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: My first thought ...

      Or that the general public wouldn't want to see something so gruesome (or more likely wouldn't want their children to see it)

      Or that it might prejudice a future trial if the jury had a preconceived notion that it's all that driver's fault.

      1. BOFH in Training

        Re: My first thought ...

        I expect that video to leak out into reddit soon.

        Have they seen the videos that you see in various reddit forums? From Ukraine war related videos (unedited raw footage) to various accident / crime videos.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: My first thought ...

          I wouldn't know. I don't do reddit ... for the same reasons I don't do twitter. Or facebook, etc. Life's far too short to waste.

      2. jake Silver badge

        Re: My first thought ...

        "Or that the general public wouldn't want to see something so gruesome (or more likely wouldn't want their children to see it)"

        I personally have no interest in seeing the unedited video (did you see where I said"edited"?). Just enough to see what happened without being explicit. That kind of video is released routinely in these here parts for all kinds of hit & run vehicle accidents, including those involving pedestrians and bikes. And usually same day, so the public can help track down the perp ... except this time. Why? What's so special about this time?

        "Or that it might prejudice a future trial if the jury had a preconceived notion that it's all that driver's fault."

        Nah.

        1. Blank Reg

          Re: My first thought ...

          The cruise vehicle likely has 360 degree camera footage of the accident, they probably don't need the public to help track down the driver

    2. Casca Silver badge

      Re: My first thought ...

      You really should spend less time on twitter...

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: My first thought ...

        "You really should spend less time on twitter..."

        I have never, not once, spent any time on twitter.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: My first thought ...

          > I have never, not once, spent any time on twitter.

          But you would fit in so well.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: My first thought ...

            Do you have anything to add to the conversation, little cowardly blob of grey goo? Or are you just here to show us all how witty you aren't?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: My first thought ...

              To be honest Jake, your comments in this thread aren't exactly covering you in glory, and throwing ad hominem attacks into the conversation doesn't help to make you look good either.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: My first thought ...

                Ad hom? In that? Nah. Just paraphrasing what the previous poster had already admitted to.

                And it certainly wasn't an attack, just a reply in kind.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: My first thought ...

                  This is just paraphrasing what you've already posted. It's certainly not an attack, just a reply in kind...

                  ...you really can be a bit of an ass sometimes

                2. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                  Re: My first thought ...

                  jake, I have a great deal of respect for you and frequently agree with everything you say, which obviously comes from a perspective of knowledge and a vast plethora of experience.

                  Having said that, to a level of obsequiousness that is deeply uncharacteristic of me, on this occasion, you might want to re-read what you have written from the perspective of another reader. Think of it as a lesson in emotional intelligence, which, again, is something we techies often struggle with.

                  edit - I can also see what you were trying to imply about the AV manufacturer - i.e. that they are probably trying to shift the full blame onto someone else. It came out sounding like something Russell Brand or one of his ilk might say, though.

                  1. ITMA Silver badge

                    Re: My first thought ...

                    " It came out sounding like something Russell Brand or one of his ilk might say, though."

                    Given what is currently happening with Russel Brand in the UK, that comment may be interpreted in way more ways than you may have intended.

                    As that (Russel Brand) is a case currently under investigation, I'll say no more than that.

                    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                      Re: My first thought ...

                      To clarify: I was referring to the barking mad conspiracy theory nonsense, and not any denial of any allegations about things he may or may not have done in the past (and every British comedian knew about but was prevented from talking about by legal injunctions that have now expired)

    3. ITMA Silver badge

      Re: My first thought ...

      Why "probably a fake"?

      And why with access to all sorts of expert witnesses, including image/video analysis experts, would the police be "not likely to be able to spot a faked video"?

      Are you such a ghoul that you think the public have some right to see people being injured, possibly badly?

      You should also consider what "law enforcement" do - it is THEIR job to investigate this, NOT the public.

      Twatter, TikTok etc seem have given people the belief that they can trample all over legitimate law enforcement/police investigations and be voyeurs/judge/jury/executioner all rolled into one.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: My first thought ...

        "Why "probably a fake"?"

        The way the story has been released and talked about (I saw it "live" as a breaking story on tuesday morning) on the news around here (I live less than an hour's drive from San Francisco) makes me suspect that they are withholding something. It just has that feeling about it. There is something wrong with the story. For example, they are not calling it a "hit and run", they are just looking for the driver of the supposed second vehicle, with no description of said vehicle. WTF? I thought they had video of it? The whole presentation is totally abnormal for cases like this in the SF Bay Area.

        Couple that with the entire self-driving vehicle industry being extremely economical with the truth, this particular company already getting a lot of bad press around here, and the wide availability of so-called "AI" software with the capability of grafting fake images onto existing video, well, it kinda makes me go hmmmmm.

        "And why with access to all sorts of expert witnesses, including image/video analysis experts, would the police be "not likely to be able to spot a faked video"?"

        It usually takes a day or two to round up said witnesses. It hasn't even been 24 hours yet as I type. A standard cop on the street isn't trained in this kind of thing any more than yer DearOldMum is,

        "Are you such a ghoul that you think the public have some right to see people being injured, possibly badly?"

        Again, did you not see where I typed "edited"? That's how it ALWAYS happens around here. They cut out the icky bits, the actual impact, etc. Except today. Nothing. And no, I do not want to see the video myself. I'm no macabre voyeur, and have never intentionally gone looking for videos of other people's misfortune. It's not my cuppa.

        "You should also consider what "law enforcement" do - it is THEIR job to investigate this, NOT the public."

        I never said otherwise. HOWEVER, in cases similar to this in the past, they ALWAYS release video (or at least a couple stills) of the suspect's vehicle (if it exists), and ask for the public's help in tracking it down. Not this time. Why not? What's so special about it? I smell a rat.

        "Twatter, TikTok etc seem have given people the belief that they can trample ::snip::"

        I don't do twitter, ticktok, etc. etc. IMO, they rot the brain.

        1. ITMA Silver badge

          Re: My first thought ...

          "Breaking" stories are often missing information for all sorts of valid, non-conspiracy reasons. The initial reporting can also be very vague, confused and misleading. The media (plus unsocial media) will be clutching at anything to get a story.

          It doesn't mean it is being "withheld".

          I was working in central London on 7th July 2005 when the terrorist bombs went off (one destroying a bus in Tavistock Square and three in different location on the London Underground). The initial reports were mostly rumour and hearsay (not to mention frequently flat wrong) because it took time to work out what actually had happened and the priority was dealing with the incidents and the casualties and not giving "press briefings".

          It was only quite a bit later that accurate information came into the public arena.

          Even then, sometimes crucial information may be withheld, for very valid reasons, if releasing it could interfere with or otherwise prejudice the investigation.

          As you say, it takes time to get video expertly analysed so releasing it before then could be very misleading until law enforcement have a clearer understanding of what it actually it shows.

          Rushing to the press before establishing the facts often is NOT the best thing for law enforcement to do in an on going case.

          Also, someone has to "edit" the video to release an edited version. Doing that properly also takes time so the released edit is not misleading.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: My first thought ...

            Again, all I can say is it feels funny. There is something off about it. It is not being reported the way every similar story in the past has been reported.

            Ah, well. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

            1. ITMA Silver badge

              Re: My first thought ...

              You should read up on the reporting of a murder case in the UK - "Murder of Joanna Yeates".

              The press reporting, not to mention the unsocial media frenzy, about one person because he was initially arrested for questioning was appalling. The media had essentially publicly pronounced him guilty.

              In reality he was completely exonerated and entirely innocent as proven by the forensic evidence. The real murderer was caught and convicted by the same means.

              So sometimes the reporting of an incident can feel "funny" until all the facts have came out.

              You also need to factor in the love in the US of suing law enforcement - particularly by businesses who may in some way be involved - if law enforcement say the slightest wrong thing which they may not be able to back up. So sometimes better to say nothing until you can back up it up.

              This can also make the reporting seem "funny". Just don't automatically jump to conclusions too soon.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: My first thought ...

                This is not the UK, this is Northern California. Completely different jurisdiction, and often completely different methodology.

                I can assure you that I am more aware of the US's love of litigation than those of you on the Right side of the pond.

                Regardless, this particular case is NOT being handled normally for this area at this moment in time.

                1. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

                  Re: My first thought ...

                  I wonder if the peculiarity is a consequence of Cruise imposing restrictions on the use of their data, which would be atypical (generally the cops just get a warrant and say "gimme") but I could imagine a scenario where Cruise claims the data contains proprietary info and negotiate restrictions. They certainly have clout with the local authorities which might have prompted kid gloves...

              2. MichaelGordon

                Re: My first thought ...

                The damages Christopher Jeffries got for this were nowhere near heavy enough to dissuade the newspapers from doing something like this again - only six figures in total apparently. The cost to the newspapers involved needed to be enough to hurt - 10% of annual turnover say.

              3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                Re: My first thought ...

                This one actually happened in the little bubble of the world I live in - she'd been to a pub I've drunk in (although not often, because it's not a very good pub), nipped into a shop on a street near me, to buy cider and a pizza, and lived on the same road as a friend of mine. Her body was dumped beside the road in a quarry, on a side-road off the one I drove to work on every day at the time. The whole thing was deeply spooky in the familiarity of the settings.

                The gutter press completely stitched up the wrong guy, because he was, in their eyes, "a bit odd," and happened to be her landlord, when it was, in fact, her neighbour who murdered her.

                In the very worst cases, the press can publicise evidence that makes it completely inadmissible in court, as its being well known would prejudice a jury. This is also why the far-right fuckwit Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka "Tommy Robinson" aka "Waxy Lemon") was sent down for contempt of court for prejudicing a trial.

            2. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: My first thought ...

              My guess is that the usual cases that you refer to have a private individual in the 'at fault' role (even tentatively). In this case there's a big business involved.

              That means that the risk of the police being sued is significantly higher and the lawyers they'd have to pay would be significantly more expensive.

              So better for the police to play it safe and keep quiet; that leads to the media hypothesising (which may be the "feels funny") but that's at their risk.

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: My first thought ...

              Jake, I'm not too far from you (about three hours from San Francisco), and I agree there is a smell to the reporting on this incident.

              The fact that Cruise seems to have an odd influence with the politicians in SF (little white envelopes, anyone?), makes this even more odoriferous. Something is not right here, and we may never really find out what it is.

              Either the "other car" belonged to someone important, or there was no "other car".

              1. ITMA Silver badge

                Re: My first thought ...

                "...influence with the politicians in SF (little white envelopes, anyone?)"

                Well, that wouldmake it feel odd for a start - they're using the wrong colour envelopes!

                They envelopes should brown not white and fat with cash not little ;)

            4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: My first thought ...

              "It is not being reported the way every similar story in the past has been reported."

              Looking at this thread a good number of hours after it started, and seeing the many comments, I think I can see both sides of this one. Although, my thoughts on the lack of video being shown to track down the other car may result from one of the "accused" being a multi-million (billion?) dollar corporation, since the sequence of events appears to be that the victim may have only been slightly injured by the "missing" car, the worst injuries then being caused by the Cruise car. And Cruise are the ones with the most data and video on exactly what happened and may be reluctant to hand anything over without a warrant, which will not only add to the delay but may not be worded very well, or be legally arguable as "too broad", so Cruise have more excuses to delay. If Cruise thought they were entirely innocent, I'm sure they would have volunteered the data, so any "strangeness" is almost certainly just corporate ass covering.

              1. ITMA Silver badge

                Re: My first thought ...

                That is a well put argument.

                Essentially, what you saying is it is not being reported in the "usual style" because the victim's initial (relatively) minor injuries from the first vehicle have been made (potentially) much worse by the Cruise vehicle.

                Thus the focus of the investigation could well be focussing on that, most of the video evidence for which is in the possesion of Cruise and (potentially) being kept out of reach behind a wall of expensive coporate lawyers.

                Not "covered-up" so much as "lawyered up".

                1. Roland6 Silver badge

                  Re: My first thought ...

                  If Cruise have any sense they will be (publicly) ensuring the accident victim is getting the best medical care at their expense, and publish the successful recovery, okay without admitting liability at this time).

                  How Cruise handle this case will make a massive difference to the way future cases are resolved and the publics acceptance of such vehicles in public space.

      2. beast666

        Re: My first thought ...

        Everything is fake. Everything.

        1. ITMA Silver badge

          Re: My first thought ...

          Including you ;)

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: My first thought ...

      I presume there is also a lack of mobile phone footage uploaded by Joe Public?

  4. DS999 Silver badge

    Interesting that the police

    Didn't want it moving off the woman. I guess they were worried she might have further injury if it tried to move?

    1. LybsterRoy Silver badge

      Re: Interesting that the police

      I'd say that's a fair guess, unless it was a VTOL Cruise the only way to move it without causing further damage would be by a third party lift.

    2. BartyFartsLast

      Re: Interesting that the police

      Pretty much, i seem to remember being taught that for stabbings, impalement, people trapped under or in stuff, you wait for the experts, provide whatever first aid care you can and don't attempt to remove them or whatever has been stuck in them unless there's immediate further danger to life if you don't.

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Interesting that the police

        Pretty much, i seem to remember being taught that for stabbings, impalement, people trapped under or in stuff, you wait for the experts, provide whatever first aid care you can and don't attempt to remove them or whatever has been stuck in them unless there's immediate further danger to life if you don't.

        A former colleague who is now a paramedic said something similar. Unless instructed to by the 999 operator it is normally best not to move the casualty or remove anything from them (baring obviously something that will just kill them, like a speeding truck etc.) If there is a neck injury then moving them can in certain cases risk paralysis or you remove something that has nicked an artery internally and you start exsanguination

        1. ButlerInstitute

          Re: Interesting that the police

          My understanding is something like that in the case of crush injuries there are "poisons" produced within the body. These may be kept approximately in place by the crushing object. Of the object is moved the "poisons" may move around the body, greatly increasing the chance of kidney or liver failure as they are exposed to the poisons.

          At one time there was a time limit recommended for this. If you could do so within a certain time it would be OK to remove the object, but after a time the risk became too great. I think the recomendation now is just not to remove the object at any time.

          This is based on someone explaining this to me quite a few years ago, so I'm not sure if I'm remembering right. Nor do I know a better word for the "poisons" I mention.

    3. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Interesting that the police

      I think the police didn't want the car moved from there after the woman was extracted so they could complete a thorough forensic investigation of the accident scene. It's a bit ambiguously worded.

      1. ITMA Silver badge

        Re: Interesting that the police

        Quite.

        I can't imagine having the rear wheel of a car on top of one's leg for any length of time is going to be good.

        1. Justthefacts Silver badge

          Re: Interesting that the police

          So….what would a human driver do? I think it’s a rather constructive Q& A.

          As I understand it, it’s not that the AI could have avoided running over the woman, as she was literally thrown into its path. And it *did* emergency brake, probably quicker than any human could have. Therefore, it’s final impact speed would have been significantly lower than a human driver. The question is, why didn’t it roll off her leg.

          In fact, as a driver I would not have been 100% sure, because of “don’t unpin a crush injury, you can make things worse by moving them without correct support, wait for the emergency vehicle with the “jaws of life”. So what I would have done, is phone the emergency service myself or talk on the phone of a bystander to them, and ask. And in all likelihood, the phone responder would have said, the ambulance will be there in five minutes, do *not* continue to move the victim.

          The lesson? These AI cars should have automatic comms link, with 999 key unlock, that the emergency service can remotely see everything the car saw in the seconds before impact, and initiate a small manoeuvre if necessary. There are privacy/control implications, I accept. And nevertheless that’s the side I am on. And this is the conversation we should be having, because this won’t be the last such incident.

          1. DavCrav2

            Re: Interesting that the police

            I created an account just to reply to this with correct medical information.

            For crush injuries where the crush has been in place for less than 15 minutes, so any normal car accident, release the crush. For crushes of more than 15 minutes it depends on whether medical help is forthcoming. If not, try to staunch the blood flow above the injury and then release. (Read up on this if you are likely to be places with no medical help.)

            The point is that crushes can cause a toxin build up. Releasing the crush restores blood flow and then you get a rush of toxins around the body. If you run someone over, move the car ASAP. There is no benefit to leaving the person trapped under the car. Unless, of course, this involves you running over them again with another set of wheels. Don't do that. You wouldn't have said "I just dropped a concrete block on someone's leg. I'll just leave it there while I wait for the ambulance." Cars are the same.

            1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Interesting that the police

              Good info - have one of these (but not before driving, obvs)

            2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Interesting that the police

              "Unless, of course, this involves you running over them again with another set of wheels"

              Or even running over more bits with the same set of wheels. It depends on being able to lift the vehicle without causing further damage.

            3. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

              Re: Interesting that the police

              Good advice. Lots of us are speculating on here without knowing what the situation really was. I'm speculating that the Cruise car couldn't move or be moved without it being dragged, which feels like that could easily have made things a lot worse for the casualty.

            4. DS999 Silver badge

              I saw another article about this

              That said the jaws of life were used to free the woman. I wonder if rather than the tire being on her, if the tire went over her and her leg was pinned between the road and the undercarriage? Perhaps they feared if she had a femoral artery injury that she'd quickly bleed out if the car was raised so they used the jaws of life to cut away the side of the vehicle to get a better look first?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: I saw another article about this

                The jaws of life work in both directions. They can compress (cut) or spread. They can also be used as a make-shift jack to lift a car. I've used mine to stretch wire fencing, as a logging jack, and to straighten out steel vehicle frames. The only limit to the tools you can make for the ends is your imagination.

            5. Justthefacts Silver badge

              Re: Interesting that the police

              Thank you, good to know. I hope I will never need to act on that!

          2. Paul 195

            Re: Interesting that the police

            There's always an assumption that the machine reacted quicker than a human driver would have done, but has that actually been validated? After all, self-driving software is a lot more complex than the motion detector that opens a supermarket door. And might a human driver have swerved and been able to mitigate the effect of hitting the pedestrian?

            It's very hard to find accurate comparisons on accidents per mile for humans vs autonomous vehicles, and we tend to assume that because so many human drivers can be distracted, inattentive, or just plain terrible, that self-driving vehicles are better. But where's the actual evidence for it?

            1. gnasher729 Silver badge

              Re: Interesting that the police

              If it doesn't react quicker than a human today, there would be hope that hardware in two years time _would_ react quicker. I would very much hope that it reacts in comparable speed.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Interesting that the police

          > I can't imagine having the rear wheel of a car on top of one's leg for any length of time is going to be good.

          It won't be. The leg - and foot - may not be recoverable if left pinioned, without blood flow.

          But removing it without expert medics on hand can lead to a far worse outcome.

          There are unpleasant stories of bondage gone badly wrong, where a well-meaning person, seeing the colour the victim's (only correct word in this case) limb has gone, undoes the constraints, only to release a clot into the bloodstream and a fatal thrombosis results.

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            Re: Interesting that the police

            The negative effects come after PROLONGED crushing/blocking of bloodflow. In the case of a car accident like this, like the contributor above mentions, if you can safely remove the crushing object, it's best to remove the object ASAP.

            So not removing the car only applies if you find someone after they've been stuck for a while or if you ignored them for a while after the accident.

        3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: Interesting that the police

          Removing it without medical care is likely to kill you from compartment syndrome* if it has been on there for any amount of time.

          *Ickyness warning - that wiki page has a rather gross medical picture on it

    4. Pete Sdev Bronze badge

      Re: Interesting that the police

      I'm also not sure if in that situation it's better to wait for the emergency services to jack the car vertically off, rather than driving the car off and risking further injuries.

      Depends perhaps on where you are (urban vs. middle of nowhere) and how long it takes for an ambulance to turn up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting that the police

        Maybe there was no way to instruct the car to move a suitably small amount ?

    5. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Silver badge

      Re: Interesting that the police

      "Didn't want it moving off the woman. I guess they were worried she might have further injury if it tried to move?"

      That's standard emergency first aid procedure. Don't move anything, preserve life and wait for the experts to arrive.

      1. The commentard formerly known as Mister_C Silver badge

        Re: Interesting that the police

        Although moving clear might have helped her, staying put meant that she was being protected from being hit a third, fourth, fifth time by other vehicles

    6. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Interesting that the police

      This raises an important question: do these cars have an obvious off and take manual control switch, like UK buses which have an external fuel cutoff and engine kill switch.

      I suspect without some form of standardisation there is no reliable way for a third-party (police etc) to do anything with the autonomous car, unlike cars with human drivers…

  5. hammarbtyp

    Ai Dillema

    well that's the troley problem solved then

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Ai Dillema

      The trolly problem was solved ages ago ... Simply hold the lever BETWEEN the two positions and hope for a derailment.

      1. I am David Jones Silver badge
        Alert

        Re: Ai Dillema

        Shirley with a derailment you risk going in sideways and taking everybody out, including the poor kitten that wasn’t even involved in the dilemma. Think of the kitten!

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Ai Dillema

          Trolley cars usually derail parallel to the direction of travel. It takes multiple cars to create the bunching-up, sideways action.

          The kitten always survives. Cats have good reflexes and survival instinct. To say nothing of 9 lives..

      2. Lee D Silver badge

        Re: Ai Dillema

        Trolley problem is easier to solve than that.

        Do something. There is no win situation at all. Just choose one rather than dither and possibly end up doing both (e.g. hitting the pedestrian, and smash into the truck cutting into your lane, etc.).

        People thinking that the trolley problem has a "good" solution are the problem. It doesn't. Just act.

        And in 99.99% of situations, slamming on the brake and letting physics determine it for you is about the best you can ever hope for.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Ai Dillema

      VSauce / Mind Field actually did a very good pseudo real world trolley problem exercise on YouTube.

    3. Eclectic Man Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Ai Dillema

      I know exactly what I would do in each of the several variations of 'the Trolley problem' - panic. Yup, I'd just panic, not proud of it, my 'inner animal' is no tiger, but a rabbit caught in the headlights.

      Sorry about that.

      But, having peripheral vision, and also a motorcycle as well as a car driver's licence, I am always careful at crossings to let the pedestrians get out of the way before driving off, however annoying that may be.

      Very best wishes to the victim and her friends and family.

  6. Caver_Dave Silver badge

    Two related stories (from with the past 3 months)

    I have a friend who was hit by a drunk and managed to grip the bonnet until the vehicle was very nearly stopped, at which point she was pulled under the engine compartment. A few large farmer types lifted the front of the car to pull her out. Stopping in that position actually saved her from much more serious injury from say the rear suspension or axle (with differential) which were lower than the front suspension and engine.

    So in the article stopping on top of her may have been a lucky accident that potentially reduced the injuries.

    I know of another woman where the rider of a motorcycle was knocked off by the car in front and she was unable to stop before the rider went under her car. The rider is dead, but the Coroner is trying to work out at which point they died in order to know which one of the drivers should be prosecuted for manslaughter. (The driver in front already has the dangerous driving charge for knocking the bike rider off.) This is a UK example and so precedence may differ across jurisdictions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Two related stories (from with the past 3 months)

      Coroners in the UK don't prosecute anyoine, they decide cause of death etc and may make recommendations (usually ignored) to reduce chances of similar deaths occurring in the future.

      In this case, if they decide the victim was still alive when they went under the car then it is up to the CPS (or equivalent in Scotland) to decide whether there is a sufficiently strong case for a prosecution.

      1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

        Re: Two related stories (from with the past 3 months)

        The Police have already made it clear that they will be recommending prosecution to the CPS. They are just waiting on the Coroner's verdict on which vehicle actually caused the death, and so which driver to go after.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Two related stories (from with the past 3 months)

          Both and let the court decide!

          Would not be surprised if the coroner is unable to create a definitive time line of events and sequence injuries sustained and make determination on survivability had your friend managed to avoid hitting the rider.

          A few decades back the police didn’t press charges on my wife for manslaughter arising from a road accident as the evidence pointed to her having taken all reasonable measures to avoid collision; 20+ years later, She still avoids driving on unlit roads… I recommend your friend gets counselling (ie. Get an GP referral and then pays for it) and bills it the driver in front insurance.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Two related stories (from with the past 3 months)

      > at which point she was pulled under the engine compartment

      The majority of SUVs have this design fault. Going back a few decades it was a feature of car design to have a lower front and sloped bonnet so that animals and people would be thrown on to the bonnet rather than dragged under the car…

  7. StevoJ

    Think self driving cars should have a human at the controls at all times for the time being... Eventually, fine but the tech still needs to mature and be proven.

    1. Big_Boomer

      Waste of time. Humans are inattentive when they are actually supposed to be controlling the vehicle, so they have zero chance of reacting to something a computer controlled car does before it hurts someone. (minimum wage human looks up from his cellphone and exclaims "did we hit someone?")

      What I want to see are stats comparing the injuries/deaths per mile travelled of human controlled vehicles vs computer controlled vehicles. I'm willing to bet that computer controlled are already WAY better than human controlled, but people (and the media) always highlight the one/few instance(s) where it suits their agenda. It's the same with EV vehicle fires. Every time one catches fire the media have an orgasm over it but there are WAY more fossil fuel powered vehicle fires than there are EV, even if you count them as a proportion of each vehicle type.

      1. Zack Mollusc

        Agreed.

        I would also like to see comparable stats. I would also like to see a group of 20 self-driving cars negotiating road junctions with another 20 self-driving cars travelling the other way.

        I would particularly like to see a group of self-driving cars negotiating an obstacle course without any comms as I am not convinced that they are not at least in part operated remotely by a human (possibly just giving a reassuring 'go for it' tap on the spacebar as necessary).

      2. Malcolm Weir Silver badge

        Yes, there are more fuel-based fires. But battery fires are massively harder to contain and extinguish. So a useful metric might be firefighter-hours to handle each type...

  8. Johnb89

    So how DO the police tell a driverless car to move 'just a bit'

    The article mentions lifting the car, but there are circumstances where the police would tell or motion to a real driver to 'move over there' or 'pull forward a bit' or 'don't move'.

    How do authorised people tell a driverless car these things? Can they?

    One could imagine the default case where there's a big red 'STOP' button on the car that makes the car stop immediately and stay that way until central control says otherwise, but I don't think they have those.

  9. adam 40 Silver badge

    Cruise control

    ... or lack of.

    So, in the case that someone collapses on a pelican crossing, presumably the Cruise would just go for it?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Cruise control

      Another form of "cruise control". Not a self driving car, just an "ordinary", brand new EV that failed so spectacularly that the brakes (regen?) didn't work and the car was stuck driving along at 30mph, the poor driver only able to steer, not stop or slow.

      I was kidnapped by my runaway electric car'"

  10. Philo T Farnsworth Bronze badge

    Once again. . .

    . . . We have an AV taking the rap for an incident precipitated by a negligent, perhaps criminally so, human driver.

    A couple of years ago, I did a little study of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) AV accident records (every incident involving an AV, whether under computer or human control, has to be reported to the DMV).

    After digesting the reports (in PDF form, with inconsistent data, by the way, and a moderate pain in the tush), I discovered that a substantial number of accidents, if not a majority, involving AVs were not the AV's fault.

    Many of the accidents were rear-enders, where the AV was stopped at a stop sign or light, or were otherwise caused by human drivers hitting a perfectly law abiding AV. In the instances where the AV was at fault, it was very often under "manual" or human control.

    Human operated vehicles are involved in tens of thousands of fatal accidents and who knows how many injury and property damage accidents every year here in the US, most of which are not reported by the news media for the reason that they are completely routine. Had this story been just a hit and run involving just the human driver, it would have been a two column inch story buried on page A25 or the digital equivalent, if it had been reported at all. The only thing which makes this item newsworthy is the incidental involvement of an AV, albeit a somewhat recalcitrant one.

    I'm not arguing either for or against AVs -- we are dealing with, indeed, a relatively new and thus far unproven technology.

    What I am arguing for is a sense of proportionality.

    Your mileage may, of course, vary.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Once again. . .

      "The only thing which makes this item newsworthy is the incidental involvement of an AV, albeit a somewhat recalcitrant one."

      Personally, I think that is exactly WHY it's a story. If it was a "mundane"[*], human drive hit and run, there's a specific person to hunt down and charge with a crime. But just WHO is the driver of an autonomous vehicle? If the EV is to blame, then who gets charged? The company as a whole? The s/e dev team/department? A specific person in the dev team? The person or people who provided the data to the dev team? (maybe it was faulty data or local driving laws at fault, not the s/w itself).

      * let's not even go near the atrocious US road death rates, one of the worst, per capita in the developed world.

    2. Orv Silver badge

      Re: Once again. . .

      The AV still shouldn't have moved while there was someone in the crosswalk.

      1. Zack Mollusc

        Re: Once again. . .

        Agreed, but I would say that the AV should not have moved until it was sure that the crosswalk was empty of people.

    3. Johnb89

      Re: Once again. . .

      Yes, the car handed control to the human driver 2 milliseconds before the collision, thus the human was in control of the car.

      And until Tesla starts releasing credible logs and data that demonstrate otherwise we will all believe that that is exactly what has often happened.

  11. PhilipN Silver badge

    In other news - Today's Times** >

    Paywalled** but the headline is "Police forced to run malfunctioning electric car off the road".

    The nub is "The six-month-old MG ZS fully electric car had suffered a “catastrophic malfunction” and was stuck at 15mph."

    **I guess it is reported elsewhere.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: In other news - Today's Times** >

      BBC, in my comment up above, and they said it was at 30mph. Although by the time it was stopped by the Police, the action of going around a roundabout had dropped the speed to 15, probably because of the manoeuvring.

  12. aerogems Silver badge

    That is some shit luck

    And as someone who suffered a broken leg when I was 8 because of a hit and run where I got to listen to the car run over my leg with both sets of wheels, I hope they find the driver and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

    I also hope that the software devs for the car are working on adding a condition to try to minimize these kinds of situations. Sure, it's probably an edge case among edge cases, but basically once you code it in and get it working, you should never have to mess with it again.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reading through these comments

    I can only guess at how deep down the hole Jake is.

    Do you need a new shovel mate?

  14. LionelB Silver badge
    Trollface

    It's a good question

    > And we know what you're thinking: would the second car have still hit her if it was being driven by a person? It's a good question.

    Another good question: would the first car have still hit her if it was an AV?

    (At least the driver would be unlikely to have fled the scene.)

    1. usbac Silver badge

      Re: It's a good question

      I keep wondering that myself. If the AV was driven by a human driver, would the driver have been able to see the that the hit and run was about to happen, and brake sooner?

      1. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: It's a good question

        Depends on their view and whether they were looking, so they might have glimpsed the pedestrian before or as the other car hit them and done the instinctive inference and slammed the brakes on.

  15. jake Silver badge

    Breaking news.

    The California Department of Motor Vehicles just pulled Cruise's permit to operate driverless vehicles, effective immediately.

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