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Enraged pedestrian assaults autonomous Chevy Bolt

by Justin King

California accident reports suggest self-driving cars will not be immune from road rage.

General Motors' fleet of autonomous Chevrolet Bolt EVs has apparently sparked rage among a few motorists and pedestrians, according to mandatory incident filings with the California DMV.

An accident report spotted by the Los Angeles Times details damage caused by a pedestrian who lashed out as a Bolt was waiting for crosswalks to clear before making a right-hand turn from northbound Valencia St onto 16th St in San Francisco.

"A different pedestrian from the southwest corner of Valencia and 16th ran across Valencia Street, against the 'do not walk' symbol, shouting, and struck the left side of the Cruise AV's rear bumper and hatch with his entire body," the document notes.

Another encounter involved Bolt under manual control that stopped behind a taxi and the taxi driver "exited his vehicle, approached the Cruise AV, and slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch."

It is unclear if the taxi driver's actions involved an unstated incident with the Bolt.

Developers of autonomous drive systems have encountered difficulty making the vehicles mesh with human-piloted traffic. Early problems included a tendency to be too cautious at stop signs, requiring developers to tweak the code so an autonomous car begins to pull forward slightly to assert its intention to proceed.