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Motorcycle cop tickets a self-driving car in San Francisco

Now here’s a genuine novelty: In San Francisco, a motorcycle cop pulled over an autonomous vehicle and issued it a ticket. The future has arrived.

But the reason — police said it failed to yield to a pedestrian at a crosswalk — probably shouldn’t be taken lightly, coming a day after a self-driving car operated by Uber Technologies Inc. struck and killed a woman walking her bicycle across the road March 18 in Tempe, Ariz. Cruise Automation, the operator of the ticketed self-driving car, says the vehicle did nothing wrong. The story was first reported by CBS affiliate KPIX-TV.

Cruise tells the station that its onboard data shows the pedestrian was 10.8 feet away from the car when it began driving in autonomous mode down Harrison Street at 14th Street. The officer pulled the car over shortly after it began accelerating and ticketed the human test driver.

“Safety is our priority in testing our self-driving vehicles,” Cruise said in a statement. “California law requires the vehicle to yield the right of way to pedestrians, allowing them to proceed undisturbed and unhurried without fear of interference of their safe passage through an intersection. Our data indicates that’s what happened here.” It tells the station the human test driver did everything right but is responsible for the citation.

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