Photo: Alexander Koerner (Getty Images)

One of the benefits of California‚Äôs autonomous car regulations‚ÄĒthough they could be vastly improved upon!‚ÄĒis that collisions with a robot vehicle must be reported to the state‚Äôs department of motor vehicles, even if they‚Äôre incredibly minor. That‚Äôs why we now know that, of the six incidents reported so far this year, two involve humans approaching robot cars and literally attacking them.

That figure was highlighted this week in a brief story by the Los Angeles Times.

On Jan. 2, a Chevy Bolt EV operated by General Motors‚Äô Cruise driverless car division in San Francisco‚Äôs Mission District was waiting at a green light for pedestrians to cross when a man ‚Äúran across Valencia Street against the ‚Äėdo not walk‚Äô symbol, shouting, and struck the left side of the Cruise AV‚Äôs rear bumper and hatch with his entire body,‚ÄĚ damaging a tail light, according to a report filed with the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

No one was injured and police weren‚Äôt called. At the time, the Cruise vehicle was operating in autonomous mode but a safety driver was at the wheel‚ÄĒthe current law that‚Äôll change as early as April.


Three weeks later, another GM car was involved in an incident on Duboce Avenue, when, the report says, ‚Äúthe driver of the taxi exited his vehicle, approached the Cruise AV, and slapped the front passenger window, causing a scratch.‚ÄĚ Again no injuries were reported and police weren‚Äôt called.

This doesn’t bode well for the future when more robot cars on on the road mixing with human drivers.