In those US cities where local authorities have allowed the operation of driverless taxis, even in test mode, there are situations where taxis gather in one place, which begins to interfere with other road users. In Texas, a similar precedent recently caught the lens of an eyewitness camera, which once again demonstrates the imperfection of cruise control algorithms.
As noted in Electrek, during rush hour in one of Austin’s neighborhoods, through which passes one of the few routes available to travel that day from the north to the south of the city and back, on the narrow streets of one of the unmanned taxi prototypes failed to complete the turning maneuver at the intersection, effectively blocking traffic on it in three directions. Since there were many other robot taxis traveling in the area at that moment, they began to create traffic jams, patiently waiting for conditions to appear so that they could continue on the designated roads.
According to Cruise, there was a high demand for taxi services in the area at the time, so there were so many taxis in one location that the onboard navigation system did not provide short enough alternate routes for detours. The operators had to intervene and manually divert the cars to less favorable routes, which in the circumstances became the only convenient route to avoid the disadvantaged area. Eventually all the taxis dispersed, but it took some time to clear the traffic jam. No pedestrians, passengers or vehicles were injured in the incident, but many drivers had to spend some time in traffic.