Incident 563: Cruise Robotaxi Initially Blamed for Ambulance Delay in Case Where Patient Later Died; Subsequent Reports Clear Cruise of Fault

Description: In an initial report, a Cruise robotaxi was said to have delayed a San Francisco ambulance transporting Sammy Davis, a critically injured 69-year-old hit by a city bus. Davis later died. Subsequent clarification revealed that Cruise was not at fault for the fatality; the actual cause was a human-operated city bus. Despite this, the incident is included as it highlights challenges in the interaction between autonomous vehicles and emergency services in urban settings.
Editor Notes: Initial reports in this case indicated that a Cruise robotaxi obstructed an ambulance carrying Sammy Davis, a critically injured 69-year-old man, leading to delayed medical attention. Davis later died from his injuries. These early accounts led to public scrutiny and questions regarding the safety of autonomous vehicles in emergency scenarios. However, subsequent official statements have clarified that Cruise was not at fault for Davis's death. The man was actually struck by a human-operated city bus, and city officials have stated that the delay caused by the robotaxi did not contribute to the fatal outcome. The report remains in the database to document the evolving understanding of autonomous vehicles' roles and responsibilities in complex urban environments.


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Alleged: Cruise developed and deployed an AI system, which harmed San Francisco emergency services and ambulance patient.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor, Daniel Atherton
Driverless Taxis Blocked Ambulance in Fatal Accident, San Francisco Fire Dept. Says · 2023

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On Aug. 14, two C…

A Robotaxi Was Blamed for a San Francisco Man's Death, But He Was Actually Hit By a City Bus · 2023
Lucas Ropek post-incident response

A couple of weeks ago, as San Francisco emergency responders attempted to pull away from a scene where a man had been seriously injured, a pair of Cruise robotaxis allegedly loitered in the ambulance's path, not understanding that they were…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.

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