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Self-Driving Cars Now Arguing About the Great Highway & JFK Drive

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This article is satire. Self-driving cars don’t have sentience…yet.

As San Francisco residents begin using the new Cruise self-driving car service, reports of strange robotaxi behavior are streaming into the SFMTA.

The reports indicate that Cruise riders in the Outer Sunset were the first to notice the problem. One of these riders was Daniel Lee, who lives near 44th and Lawton. Lee took his first Cruise robotaxi last Friday, and upon entering the back seat, he noticed the car’s interior was covered with “Open the Great Highway” posters.

“I was traumatized for sure,” said Lee. “I was just minding my own business, going to the grocery store, and the next thing I knew this car shoved its opinion in my face. It was very unhuman, unnerving.”

When Lee attempted to remove one of the posters from the car’s rear window, it pulled over and engaged its alarm. Fearing he’d be framed for breaking into the car, Lee fled the scene and took an Uber the rest of the way to the store.

Two other Outer Sunset residents, Jen and Alex Cooper, had an opposite, but equally unpleasant, driverless car encounter. The Coopers took their first robotaxi ride on Saturday from their home near Golden Gate Park to a friend’s house on Sloat Blvd. Later that evening, they discovered a photo of them in the car on NextDoor, and a post written by someone named Poppy Cruise.

“JUST GAVE THESE S***HEADS A RIDE DOWN THE ENTIRE LENGTH OF THE GREAT WALKWAY,” the post read, “GET OFF YOUR FAT LAZY BUTTS AND WALK NEXT TIME!”

Other reports claim that Cruise robotaxis have clipped bikers while driving on the Great Highway, crashed over the road’s weekend closure signs, and forcefully ejected passengers destined for Ocean Beach.

Over the past few days, the debate amongst driverless cars has spread to include car-free JFK Drive. Participants in a recent group bike ride through Golden Gate Park noticed multiple Cruise cars in attendance, all riding bicycles. And Jasmine Willis, a Richmond resident and frequent visitor to the de Young, was in for quite a surprise on Tuesday when she requested for a Cruise robotaxi to bring her as close to the museum as possible.

“The car played it cool and didn’t give me any trouble at first,” said Willis, “but then it turned onto Stanyan, then Kezar, and went all the way around the park to the Botanical Garden. So I walked from there back to the de Young, but when I arrived, they told me that my secretary had just called and canceled my museum membership. I don’t have a secretary!”

Willis was also unable to purchase a general admission ticket to the museum, as her wallet had mysteriously disappeared from her pocket during her ride. After arriving back home, she received an email receipt for a $550 top-tier SF Botanical Garden membership.

Though there are no official reports of other opinionated cars, some San Franciscans fear the phenomenon is spreading.

“I swear, every time I drive on a Slow Street, all four of my tires go flat,” said one Tesla owner who lives in the Mission. He plans to trade cars with his friend, who owns a Prius.

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Natalie Mead

Natalie Mead

Natalie began her career at a tech company, but she has since seen the light and absconded with enough free t-shirts to last a lifetime. Now, she writes for a smattering of SF local news outlets.

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