back to article Cruise admits its driverless robo-taxis need a human at the remote-control wheel

Cruise CEO Kyle Vogt confirms reports that his AI robo-car maker's now-paused driverless taxis need regular human intervention to help them make sense of the road, yet he is downplaying the severity. Vogt made his statement not on any official channel, but in a Hacker News thread about a New York Times story in which unnamed …

  1. abend0c4

    There were 1.5 remote assistance employees for every Cruise taxi

    And there was Musk saying AI would make work optional.

    1. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

      Re: There were 1.5 remote assistance employees for every Cruise taxi

      ... just not for his workers

  2. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    Autonomous taxis in an urban environment is the wrong problem to solve.

  3. tmTM

    "Complex Urban environments"

    AKA, exactly where we intend to operate

  4. Knightlie

    "As to the reason behind the pause - be it cold feet or GM just waiting to see if and when Cruise gets its driverless license back - GM declined to elaborate."

    I suspect it was prompted by a Cruise cab parking on an a injured pedestrian's leg. These abominations shouldn't be on the road, anywhere.

  5. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

    Well on our way

    had a support staff so large there were 1.5 workers per Cruise vehicle

    "Autonomous" vehicles: already 66% as good as human-driven ones!

    I expect they'll get these things working well enough in typical "urban environments", but if they think San Francisco, say, is "complex", they're in for a shock when they try to expand. Certainly many older cities, and many more densely-populated ones, around the world are far more challenging, and so are many rural areas. Around here, robotaxis would have a tough time with the network of non-standard roads, private roads, unsigned gravel roads (often rather perilous, with steep grades and drop-offs and whatnot), random hazards such as animals in the roadway, and so on.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well on our way

      I can confirm SF is complex. Bikes coming at you from everywhere, many ignoring traffic laws. Ditto for pedestrians, many of which are tourists spending more time looking at buildings and the homeless than the driverless taxi they're about to step off the curb in front of. Speaking of homeless, and other people taking mind-altering substances... they're a less predictable pedestrian bunch than the tourists. Throw in your occasional protest, take-back-the-road bike event, Muni trolley that lost its connection to the electric wires and is stuck in the middle of the intersection... chaos.

      And have you SEEN Lombard street??? Ever see the chase scene "Bullitt"? See all those hills? Ever drive up Grant Avenue?

      I love my city!

      1. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Well on our way

        You don't need mind altering substances. They might force you to pay attention (so even if what you were looking at was a bit plastic and maybe rather colorful at least you'd be looking at it).

        Just yesterday I watched as some fellow who was walking along the sidewalk lost in his phone blithely stepped off the curb without so much of a glance. Nothing. Its possible his phone was running some kind of life preserver application ("Autopilot for pedestrians"?) but he was probably just checking social media. Everyone was so aghast at this slow motion suicide that nobody thought to give him a blast of their horn (anyway he'd have probably jumped into someone's path, subsequently claiming it was their fault).

  6. tiggity Silver badge


    ""More broadly speaking, we believe autonomous vehicles will transform the way people move around the world, and the Origin is an important part of the AV journey,"

    Frankly what would transform how I move around a small part of the world would be as per the next sentence.

    Frequent, free, public transport (and covering a lot wider area than it currently does in "my area" where typically a 30 min walk to a bus stop that actually has some semblance of a service).

    .. Free (or far cheaper than now) is key - UK public transport (may be different in a few big urban areas) in many places is very expensive (& infrequent), thus encouraging car use (buying, insuring & running an "old banger" can be lots cheaper per annum than paying for public transport & gets you "door to door", dry & warm). Public transport can never compete on "door to door" convenience, but being a good option in "cost of living" terms would make a huge difference.

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