Incident 181: BMW Sedan Made a Prohibited Left Turn, Colliding with a Cruise Autonomous Vehicle

Description: A BMW Sedan reportedly made an illegal left turn, causing a minor collision but no injuries with a Cruise autonomous vehicle (AV) operating in autonomous mode.
Alleged: Cruise developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed Cruise vehicle.

Suggested citation format

Lam, Khoa. (2022-02-11) Incident Number 181. in McGregor, S. (ed.) Artificial Intelligence Incident Database. Responsible AI Collaborative.

Incident Stats

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam


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Incidents Reports

A Cruise autonomous vehicle ("Cruise AV"), operating in driverless autonomous mode, was at a complete stop in response to a red light on southbound Masonic Avenue at the intersection with Oak Street. At the intersection, an Acura Sedan was stopped in front of the Cruise AV in the left southbound lane. To the right of the Cruise AV, was a BMW Sedan in the right southbound lane. In response to the green light, the Acura Sedan made a signaled left turn onto Oak Street as the BMW Sedan stayed parallel to the Cruise AV. As the Cruise AV entered the intersection, the BMW Sedan made a prohibited left turn from the right southbound lane on Masonic Avenue with no turn signal. The Cruise AV braked and, shortly thereafter, the BMW Sedan made contact with the Cruise AV, damaging the front right bumper of the Cruise AV. The driver of the BMW Sedan left the scene without exchanging information. There were no injuries and Cruise filed a police report on February 12, 2022.

Report of Traffic Collision Involving an Autonomous Vehicle

On September 30 last year autonomous driving startup Cruise was granted permission to operate test vehicles in San Francisco without a safety driver behind the wheel.

The approval came with the conditions the vehicles could only be operated under 30mph (48km/h) in certain parts of the city and only when traffic is light between the hours of 10:00pm and 6:00am.

Just over four months later and one of their test vehicles has been involved in a collision with a BMW sedan.

According to a ‘Report of Traffic Collision Involving an Autonomous Vehicle’ posted to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website, the incident took place on February 11, 2022 at 12:42am.

The report describes that the Cruise autonomous vehicle was in the left lane at a red light behind an Acura sedan at the intersection of Masonic Avenue and Oak Street.

In the lane to the right of the Cruise vehicle was a BMW sedan.

When the light turned green the Acura made a legal left turn onto Oak Street. Upon proceeding into the intersection, the BMW attempted to also make a left turn.

According to the report, which was signed by Cruise VP Global Markets Todd Brugger, the autonomous vehicle braked, but it was not enough to prevent a collision with the BMW, causing damage to the front right bumper of the Cruise vehicle.

No injuries were reported, but a police report was filed after the driver of the BMW fled the scene without exchanging information.

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which regulates the testing of autonomous vehicles in the state, all manufacturers who are testing autonomous vehicles need to report any collision that results in property damage, bodily injury, or death within 10 days of the incident.

Cruise is still listed as being one of only seven companies with permission to operate driverless test vehicles in the state.

That list used to be eight, until lost their permit last year after a single-vehicle crash just a few hundred feet from Tesla’s Fremont factory.

You can read the full accident report below.

Driverless Cruise autonomous vehicle involved in two-car collision