Plus: SF’s Sunset Night Market was a very, very (v) big hit… and brb crying over rising SF Bay Area gas prices.
Y’all know how we feel/stand/vibe with San Francisco’s self-driving car revolution. (Read: We’re not exactly keen on doubling as human guinea pigs for new-age tech that’s still extremely in its infancy.) It seems that with each passing day, these autonomous vehicles (AVs) are on the road, the more reason we have to throw our hands toward the sky in frustration.
crying rn pic.twitter.com/soGIcjN4aN
— Nico🛵 (@pradnico) September 17, 2023
Case and point: A gaggle of self-driving Cruise cars allegedly piled up in Austin, Texas — one of the dozen-plus cities in America where the AV company has expanded its self-driving services —over the weekend, causing confusion, hilarity, and frustration.
“Crying rn,” self-described public transit fan and civil engineer student Nico posted on X from his handle, [at]pradnico, Saturday night. Why, you ask? No less than ten of Cruise’s self-driving cars were spotted stalled on an otherwise drowsy road in the state capital city.
A series of pictures shared by Nico show a number of Cruise cars seemingly “bricked” — a term used to describe self-driving vehicles that have been rendered motionless by physical obstacles, software issues, etc. — behind one another.
more angles lol you can see how much farther up the street this was backed up pic.twitter.com/lo7e8Mmmcv
— Nico🛵 (@pradnico) September 18, 2023
Cars operated by Cruise and those driven by IRL Austinites (who are not Cruise employees) were backed up far up the affected street. Funny enough, even a white limousine was involved.
It’s unclear how long the traffic jam allegedly caused by Cruise lasted, but one thing’s crystal clear: San Francisco’s problems with self-driving cars aren’t universal… and they’ll likely only become more ubiquitous as AV companies expand their robotaxi fleets.
And rest assured: Not a single misplaced traffic cone caused this dystopian nightmare.
What else happened over the weekend? Let’s take a look.
- The Sunset’s first-ever night market was a resounding success. Thousands inundated the outer San Francisco neighborhood Friday night for the inaugural Taipei-inspired evening festival, which included some 70 vendor booths, dozens of eateries, and live entertainment; given the “resounding” success of the event, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Sunset Night Market became a permanent fixture. More info.
- The famous, three-story river boat called “The Grand Romance” caught on fire in Vallejo on Saturday. The vessel, which was docked in the Napa River Saturday, was engulfed in flames around 4:45 p.m., causing four of the occupants who were living on the boat to quite literally jump ship (and later be rescued); plans to revamp the boat as a destination for on-the-water dinner cruises appear to be even further pushed back now that the blaze has effectively gutted the interior. More info.
- There was more than just an SF street fair this weekend. The 44th annual Haight Street Fair closed off roads between Masonic and Stanyan streets Sunday for a day-long celebration of local music, art, and shopping. More info.
- Lolol @ Bay Area gas prices. Just this last week alone, the average tank of gas in the SF Bay Area skyrockets $0.25; the average tank of regular fuel in SF now sits at an eye-watering $5.61. More info.