Driverless Car Finds Itself Stuck in San Francisco’s Wet Concrete

Associated Press reporter Michael Liedtke sits in the back of a Cruise driverless taxi that picked him up in San Francisco’s Mission District, on Wednesday, Feb.15, 2023.

In the ever-evolving landscape of autonomous vehicles, a quirky incident unfolded on the streets of San Francisco that raised eyebrows and questions about the reliability of driverless technology.A driverless car, equipped with its array of high-tech sensors, managed to navigate itself into a sticky situation – literally – by getting stuck in freshly poured wet concrete.Although driverless cars have largely avoided causing serious accidents or injuries in the city, the recent escapade highlights the occasional missteps in their navigation. The self-driving vehicles are touted for their potential to reduce congestion, curb pollution, eliminate human-error-related accidents, and enhance mobility for people with disabilities.The vehicle involved in the concrete debacle was identified as belonging to Cruise, a subsidiary of General Motors. City officials in San Francisco, California, reported that the construction area had been marked off with cones, accompanied by flag-wielding workers stationed at each end of the block.However, one of these autonomous vehicles found itself mired in wet concrete as it ventured onto a city paving project. The sight of the vehicle, slightly tilted forward with its wheels ensnared in the setting concrete, was captured by Paul Harvey, a retired contractor residing in the city’s Western Addition neighborhood. Harvey remarked that the incident humorously underlined the eerie and unconventional aspects of autonomous driving.

"I thought it was funny. I was kind of pleased because it illustrated how creepy and weird the whole thing is to me," Harvey said in an interview to a US media outlet.