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Austin councilmember raises concerns over driverless vehicles

Videos over the weekend showed traffic backups and cars stopped in an intersection.

AUSTIN, Texas — More complaints are rolling in about driverless cars causing traffic issues in Downtown Austin.

Over the weekend, videos emerged showing Cruise vehicles coming to a complete stop in an intersection. Another video showed a traffic backup that got the attention of one City of Austin leader.

"It shows one, two, three all in row going this way, some going this way. I mean, it is a mess – cars stuck in the middle of an intersection," Austin Councilmember Zo Qadri (District 9) said.

A spokesperson for Cruise LLC issued the following statement:

“Cruise continuously monitors its fleet, and we were alerted to a crowding event on Sunday morning. We were able to address it and all vehicles departed the area autonomously. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our cars are designed first and foremost to prioritize safety, and that includes using caution around pedestrians. “

Cruise LLC said it is still looking into what happened at the intersection with the stopped vehicles.

Qadri said he plans to voice concerns at an upcoming Mobility Committee meeting. He said he has some safety concerns.

"Express concerns of constituents and myself, and folks in the city," he said.

Qadri said there is not much the City can do as the autonomous cars are regulated by the State of Texas.

KVUE spoke with people in Downtown Austin about what they think about the cars.

"I just don't trust the technology – not another good five to 10 years would I trust anything like that," one pedestrian said.

Others like Danny Wray said they would use the cars to get around.

"It does catch your eye when you see an empty vehicle driving down the street. I am willing to give technology an opportunity to prove itself," Wray said.

This is as Austin continues to be a tech hub and more companies consider expanding their driverless services in the city.

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