Austin, Texas police and fire department officials are sounding the alarm regarding driverless vehicles flooding the streets of the state’s capital.
According to Axios, internal emails and complaints among the city’s emergency workers show the autonomous cars are hindering their abilities to assist the people of Austin.
The companies Waymo, Cruise and Volkswagen ADMT all have vehicles driving the city’s streets, but local officials have little authority over them.
Austin’s Transportation Public Works Department has received over 40 reports related to driverless cars for incidents such as nearly hitting pedestrians and emergency vehicles.
Fire, police and emergency rescue teams have even been forced to spend time, and waste tax dollars, learning how to deal with self-driving automobiles.
One APD incident log reveals a driverless car had to be stopped from hitting civilians on a fundraising walk, with an officer writing, “If I didn’t jump out in front and physically make contact with it, it would have possibly hit the walkers. They all stopped and thought it was going to drive into them. It goes without saying, these vehicles are becoming a major problem and someone is going to get hurt, probably one of us. I’m not sure if our [chain-of-command] is aware of all the issues, but it’s getting ridiculous dealing with them.”
The news comes just weeks after self-driving vehicles operated by Cruise caused a huge traffic jam that infuriated drivers trying to leave a University of Texas Longhorns football game.
Self-driving cars cause a traffic jam in Austin, Texas.
Shocking footage from Austin showed around 20 Cruise-operated Chevrolet Bolts causing traffic mayhem.
“Are you telling me they have no way to get out of this?” a man shouts in the video.
— KanekoaTheGreat (@KanekoaTheGreat) September 23, 2023
The new technology has also caused headaches in the city of Houston, Texas.